A new hooklift from Hiab made from fossil-free steel.
A new hooklift from Hiab made from fossil-free steel.

The world’s first hooklift made using fossil-free steel

By using fossil-free steel, Hiab aims to reduce both its own – and its customers’ – indirect carbon emissions and help pioneer more sustainable logistics. Recently, it unveiled the world’s first hooklift made from fossil-free steel.

By using fossil-free steel, Hiab aims to reduce both its own – and its customers’ – indirect carbon emissions and help pioneer more sustainable logistics. Recently, it unveiled the world’s first hooklift made from fossil-free steel.

Hiab is a part of Cargotec, whose vision is to be the global leader in sustainable cargo flow. Its strategy is aligned with the Paris Agreement with the ambition of limiting global warming to under 1.5°C. Cargotec’s science-based target is to reduce value chain emissions by 50 percent by 2030, which is also embedded in the company’s strategic performance targets. In its own operations, Cargotec aims to go beyond the science-based target and be carbon neutral by 2030.

For Hiab, reducing its carbon footprint is also a business necessity. Many of its customers have set similar targets of their own, not to mention the increasingly stricter legislation from governments and international organizations such as the EU.

“We can see a clear trend, where sustainability is becoming more and more important for all of us,” says Tuomo Salo, Director, Global Product Management Waste & Recycling, Hiab. “It’s important for us, our customers, our customers’ customers and for end-consumers.”

One of the biggest contributors to Hiab’s carbon footprint when it comes producing its equipment is the steel used. “Many of our customers are measuring their carbon footprint, not only through their operations, but also through their whole value chain,” adds Salo. “This means if they purchase one of our products for their operations, when they calculate the impact on their carbon footprint, they not only take into account what the product emits when in operation but also the emissions generated in producing that product. So, if we’re able to create products that can help customers reduce their carbon footprints, that would be a clear competitive advantage.”

The only challenge is finding a carbon-neutral alternative to traditional steel – and soon.

Cargotec and Hiab: early adopters of fossil-free steel

Last September 2022, at the IAA trade fair in Hanover, Germany, Hiab took a huge step forward in this endeavor by unveiling a world-first: a MULTILIFT hooklift manufactured using fossil-free steel. The feat was made possible by fossil-free steel provided by SSAB, using HYBRIT technology. The process involves replacing the coke coal traditionally used in iron-ore based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The result is steel produced with virtually no carbon-dioxide emissions.

SSAB’s fossil-free steel will be available at a large scale in 2026, but Cargotec is already exploring the full potential of the technology, with the long-term ambition of becoming the leader in sustainable cargo flow. The intention is that the new MULTILIFT hooklift is just the first of many loading equipment products that will be manufactured using fossil-free steel.

When series production of SSAB’s fossil-free steel starts and it becomes more readily available, the future goal is that all parts for Multilift products delivered by SSAB will be made using fossil-free steel.

If we’re able to create products that can help customers reduce their carbon footprints, that would be a clear competitive advantage.

Tuomo Salo, Hiab

Reducing emissions across the value chain through sustainable logistics

If Hiab could make a full transition to fossil-free steel, it would have huge ramifications not only for them, but also for all their customers and the whole logistics industry. “Just using fossil-free steel for our hooklifts alone would save around 50 percent of our CO2 emission from our manufacturing process,” says Salo. “We have a huge range of products, using different thicknesses and grades of steel, so our ambition is to continue collaborating with SSAB and hopefully create more fossil-free products.”

In addition to the clear benefit of helping Hiab and Cargotec achieve their sustainability targets, using fossil-free steel will also contribute to their customers’ efforts. “With fossil-free steel, our customers can benefit from being able to include the CO2 savings compared to products manufactured with conventional steel, into their own footprint calculations. This will help us both to achieve our climate goals.”

Hiab aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 200,000 tonnes by 2024. This is in line Cargotec’s ambition to be a 1.5°C company.

In addition to the fossil-free hooklift, Hiab has also developed an electric hooklift, which delivers low noise and zero exhaust fumes.