Mumbai-headquartered GSE manufacturer Transtec Overseas is expanding its product portfolio and investing in technological innovation as it meets growing demand for GSE to serve the large narrowbody fleets of low-cost carriers in markets such as the Indian subcontinent and Far East
Transtec started life as a representative business and a manufacturer of trailers mainly for Air India. In 2006, it partnered with UK GSE manufacturer Owen Holland. It was licence manufacturing for Owen Holland for seven years before going its own way, although it also continues to offer other manufacturers’ products into local markets as well as building large quantities of its own.
Transtec also formed a licensed manufacturing partnership with Aircraft Maintenance Support Services (AMSS) in the UK for the Eco-850 self-propelled baggage belt conveyor for the Southern Asia region. It has worked with Semmco in the UK for multiple applications of its engineering and maintenance stairs for the A320 market.
Today, its main focus lies in GSE such as conveyor belts and passenger steps, but its extensive product range also covers baggage trolleys, ambulifts, catering trucks, lavatory service units, water service units, pallet dollies, container dollies and truck-mounted scissor lifts for maintenance purposes.
Some of this equipment is non-motorised, some is towed and some self-propelled.
Transtec also offers cargo-handling equipment, including transfer decks and ball transfer units, hydraulic scissor lifts, dock levelers, slave pallets and powered roller conveyors.
Transtec’s manufacturing facility is in Gujarat, to the north of Mumbai. It has gone from an initial 5,000 square feet manufacturing capacity to maintaining 100,000 square feet of production space today. It currently employs about 60 people.
Customers of Transtec have included carriers such as Air India, Jet Airways (now out of business), SpiceJet and SriLankan Airlines; handlers such as Menzies and Bangkok Flight Services (BFS); and dedicated express carrier Blue Dart (an Indian logistics concern that is part of the DHL group).
It has exported equipment to locations across the globe as wide-ranging as Australia and France, Thailand and Zambia, Russia and the USA, although some of these markets (such as Europe) are only served on the basis of acting as a sub-contractor for other suppliers. Transtec also has a collaborative relationship with GSE manufacturer Bliss Fox in the Asian market.
The Indian subcontinent and Far East remain the company’s most important markets, says Transtec director Adesh Shah. He explains that the manufacturer supplies GSE primarily on an as-ordered basis, preferring customised GSE that meets the exact needs of each customer.
It is investing heavily in the latest technologies to meet customers’ ever-more sophisticated needs. Thus, for example, it is now offering belt conveyors powered by electricity as well as by diesel, investigating the potential offered by lithium-ion as well as by solar-powered battery technology.
Transtec also now offers a tracking system as part of the basic specification of motorised or non-motorised GSE, Shah confirms. Another recent innovation has seen the company begin to introduce aircraft proximity warning systems into some of its GSE lines, such as belt conveyors and passenger steps.
“We are constantly investing in research and development,” Shah states. It’s all part of the effort to ensure that the needs of each and every customer are met; another aspect of this is the post-production and after-sales service that every customer has available to them, he adds.
Business has been good of late, Shah observes. While the collapse of Jet Airways has created something of a vacuum in the Indian low-cost carrier (LCC) market – such a priority for Transtec – other LCCs such as SpiceJet and IndiGo continue to play prominent roles in what is a huge domestic market for narrowbodied aircraft and for the GSE required to support them.
The result for Transtec is increasing orders, leading to the need to ramp up production yet further, says Shah.
Blue Dart, in which DHL has a shareholding of some 75%, is an important customer for Transtec’s cargo products. Transtec has supplied equipment such as hydraulic dock levellers, hydraulic scissor lifts and about 600 ball transfer units (with approximately 60,000 ball units produced by UK-based Always) into Blue Dart’s new cargo terminals at Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.