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Cooper Specialised Handling marks its quarter-century since its inception in January 1998

Cooper Handling celebrates a significant milestone in its history as it reaches its 25th Birthday! The business was originally formed as SMV UK Ltd, a subsidiary company of SMV Lifftrucks of Markaryd Sweden. SMV Lifftrucks which would be taken over by Konecranes in 2004 and formally renamed themselves as Konecranes some two years later.

The SMV UK Company was founded by David Cooper who ran the business on behalf of the Swedish parent for just under three years. By the end of 2000, Cooper completed a management buy-out and commenced a significant investment into the business to bring in strategic personnel for sales, service and after sales. The SMV UK business very quickly became the top-performing market for the Swedish manufacturer for the periods 2002 through to 2006 where in 2002, 25% of what was produced for global supply in Markaryd that year was destined for the UK market.

SMV UK changed their name to Cooper Specialised Handling in April 2008.

Cooper SH remained a dedicated business supplying nothing other but Konecranes machines. Unfortunately, the combined effects of globalisation and a chronic squeeze on margins really exposed that relationship with Konecranes and despite being the second largest market to Germany at the time, in 2014 and after 17 years partnership, Konecranes opted terminate the relationship.

Coopers had to rebuild and replaced product portfolio that was lost through the Konecranes relationship with Sany and SveTruck. The business also made its introduction into the dry-bulk market through a new relationship with Mantsinen which has since been consolidated with a recent partnership with Telestack – a UK manufacturer of conveyors and mobile ship loaders. Other strategic additions such as Movella translifters, TEC containers lashing cages and lifting frames and RAM spreaders complete the transformation from a single supply reach stacker and lift truck supplier into a market-leading complete portfolio of dry-bulk, break-bulk and container handling supplier in the UK.

The blend of equipment affords a true consultancy approach to business, and as the 25-year birthday is upon them, the business shows no signs of slowing down with new product ranges bringing yet more market opportunities and launch of a new subsidiary Company in Ireland bringing organic geographical growth.

Speaking on behalf of Coopers, David Cooper, Executive Director commented “Whilst independents are widespread in the mainstream fork truck industry, there remains few who have managed to last the course of time dedicated to the supply of new heavy-truck equipment as their prime source of income. To start operations with absolutely nothing, no cash, a used Volvo 850 and a price list and create what we have has been both incredibly challenging and yet enormously rewarding.” Cooper continued, “There are personnel within all areas of the business who are totally engaged and totally committed to the cause and this 25-year anniversary of our creation is as much for them as it is to me”

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Editor’s Notes

Operating in all sectors of heavy lifting across the UK and Ireland, Cooper Specialised Handling is the exclusive UK distributor for SveTruck , RAM Spreaders and Sany mobile handling equipment, sole UK importer and exclusive distributor for Mantsinen cranes, Movella Translifters, TEC Containers and a long-term specialist in Konecranes lift trucks.  The company, which celebrated 20 years in business in 2018, also has a dedicated after-sales division, Cooper Handling Solutions, which specialises in engineering support.

Independently owned, Cooper offers total solutions in both solids and bulk handling. Its customised solutions comprise high quality, high value products and reliable service for businesses operating in the most challenging heavy handling environments, including ports, freight handling, inter-modal terminals, manufacturing and other heavy lifting industries.