Booming Scandinavian Logistics driven by flexibilty, automation and new developers

The logistic trends in the Scandinavian markets are naturally following the trends in buyer behavior and the subsequent demands from occupiers, owners and users of the logistics facilities. Of course the technological development plays a significant role in this, having introduced the various variations of e-commerce on the end-buyer side and delivering an array of automation solutions from active shelves to actual robots. Logistics is at the forefront of the technological development.

One of the requirements of modern commerce is that many owners and useres og logistics facilities faces the need to be able to cater a number of different sized targets for their operations; from the individual need of single customers buying online, to delivering whole pallets to resellers. The set-up differs from operation to operation, but one of the trends that is emerging is the need for flexibility. This might mean different types of picks for the same item, or it can be seen in the emergence of logistics centres or parks with flexible wall spacing, that can adjust the storage space for occupiers according to their current needs.

The arrival of logistic parks also marks the arrival of international developers entering the Scandinavian markets alongside with global sales channels like Amazon, but also catering to the opportunities on the existing markets.

Logistics is at the front of several disruptions, from automation to the changes in global buying patterns, like the “Amazon-effect”. But the warehouse is still a warehouse, and there is also a more subtle development of the physical formation of the buildings towards more efficient design, more height and a greater focus on sustainability.

We have tried to capture som of the most important trends in this version of Scandinavian Logistics. Enjoy the reading.

COOP NORGE: A warehouse solution for today – that works tomorrow                                                                           

Coop Norway currently modernizes their logistics facility in Langhus, south of Oslo, Norway for the retail chains large range of Non-fFod products. A new warehouse building is designed for automated goods operation, which will apply to a majority of items. Automation paves way for a dual-purpose facility, both catering to online shoppers and the chains stores. The solution addresses current need of the retailer, but is also designed with flexibility to fit the future.
By Kim Forum Jacobsen


Coop is a group of cooporatives which are found throughout Europe. Alongside with selling groceries, Coop Norway offers a wide range of Non-Food goods in it’s 1250 stores. While the logistics of food, dairy and grocery has long since been optimized with large automated warehouses, the logistics operation for the non food operation is in need for an upgrade which is happening now at Langhus in Norway. 

“The Non-Food division has had significant growth in the later years and that is the most important reason for our vision at Langhus – we have, as a company, reached a threshold, where there is a strong business case for a more efficient logistic set-up,” says Henning Røberg, Project Manager for Coop on the Langhus project. 

The “Faghandel”, which is the Norwegian name for the Non-Food product range, , is a separate division within Coop which – even if it is growing – is only a fraction of the sales in the Coop stores. 

“You have to understand that Non-Food products only amounts to roughly 20 % of the shop sales in the Coop stores as a whole. That’s why the development of the supply chain and a central logistics hub for this range of products has been prioritised below the grocery business,” says Henning Røberg.

An integrated solution
Within the Non-Food product range the hardware sortiment is the most prominent in Norway – a proud nation of DIY practitioners – followed by sports equipment, like skiing gear, outdoor products, and home electronics. The wide range of products is reflected in the requirements of the solution in the warehouse. 
“I would describe the warehouse solution in Langhus as an integrated solution, since we have products like floor boards and large building parts, that are beyond the capability of Euro Pallets and therefore tricky to handle efficiently in a fully automated environment,” says Henning Røberg. 
The integrated solution means that Coop will have people who has to operate alongside with the “robots” – the autodrive pallet lifters – inside the new compound. One of the main requirements for Coop on choosing automation and partner for the Warehouse Management System (WMS) was that the provider should be able to handle both the automated and the manual lines in a single system.
E commerce as a design requirement
The integration part of the solution doesn’t stop at combining automated operations with manual labor. The range of products going through the Faghandel are also products which are very suitable for e-commerce which – even if it is fairly well developed in Norway – Coop estimates will grow dramatically. This is reflected in the design of the Langhus facility.
“I tend to use the example of paintbrushes. We need to cater both to our stores, that maybe need a full pallet of paint brushes to their own stock, but at the same time we need to be able to handle a series of private customers who each order a single brush. Furthermore we need to ensure that both supply lines are cost-efficient and not conflicting with each other,” says Henning Røberg adding that the Norwegian market is not large enough to justify separate stock solutions for E-commerce and the shops, so the Langhus warehouse will need to have the versatility within a single compound.
Choosing the right solution
With the dual purposes of providing efficient logistics for Coop’s retail stores – which entails that all warehouse software should work seamlessly with Coop’s shop systems – and growing direct sales via e-commerce, the demands for the solution providers were already complicated, but when you build a complete and new logistics operation from scratch, you have to look to the future as well – in the case of Coop, to the far future “The fall-out scenarios that we are considering goes as far as to 2030, so we are trying to establish a logistics centre that has the flexibility to last at least that long. It may be wishful thinking because you can’t predict shopping patterns that far in the future, but then again we have tried to be as diligent as we can and demand a very high degree of flexibility,” says Henning Røberg, who describes the tender phase of the project as one of “deep consideration” ensuring Coop would find technology that met their demands.
The tender phase also posed reflections about the level of automation operating the compound, software considerations. 
“For us it’s not just about automation. It’s very much about the right automation and the correct degree of automation of course with the ability and flexibility to meet future demands. We had to be creative in the design of the solutions, since we had to balance all the parameters of use and calculate some kind of stipulation into the future; how much will e-commerce grow, how many new product lines will be needed etc. So in the end the tender process had a lot of iterations due to the fact, that we needed the suppliers to understand that our needs – and hence our system-demands – were extremely complex,” says Henning Røberg who has the the greatest respect for the work done by the suppliers bidding on the tender – even if not winning – since they put in a lot of work.
At the end of the tender it was awarded Swiss WMS provider, Swisslog. 
“In the end – as in any tender – we had some ground parameters scaling the bidders best netto value and the required level of flexibility and scalability. The latter two weighing quite a lot, as we don’t know our future requirements in full. When we added the three factors together we ended up with Swisslog on top,” says Henning Røberg.

Facts of Coop Non-Food at Langhus
Number of stores served: 1250 (of which there are 110 pure DIY-stores, the rest are combined grocery stores)
Turnover: Approx. 800 MEUR
Categories: DIY (building materials), garden products, sports & leisure, home products and electronics
Fast growing e-commerce

Facts Coop Norway
Number of stores: 1250
Turnower: Approx 3,500 MEUR

Coop Faghandel: From concept to commissioning                                                                           

Over the past two years, Coop Faghandel (non-food) have planned and prepared for the expansion and upgrade of the warehouse in Langhus, just south of Oslo. To realise the project Coop turned to Langebæk, one of Scandinavia’s leading Supply Chain & Logistics consultancies, who recently helped Coop design and implement the fully automated warehouse for their food warehouse in Gardemoen. In close collaboration with Coop, Langebæk transformed an existing high-level logistical concept into a workable operational solution, steered and supported the tendering process, and project managed the development of the warehouse. From now until well into 2020, Langebæk will assist Coop in the commissioning of the facility.

By Kim Forum Jacobsen

Two years and counting for the expansion and upgrade of a warehouse, even one as complex as Coop Faghandel, is quite a long time for a project of this type. Anyone would be excused for thinking that the project must have been beset by problems and delays, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the unusual timeline was purposefully requested by Coop and the project is progressing at pace and on schedule.

John Carstens, project manager on the Coop project, and a partner at Langebæk, explains: “Coop approached the project with a very high level of diligence, particularly in the early phases, giving a lot of attention to detailed planning and specification. This continued right through the tendering process, which made for quite a long journey, but provided Coop with a lot of added value. First, it allowed them to eliminate a number of risks associated with projects of this size. Second, it provided them with the time necessary to acquire and internalise the knowledge and knowhow required to operate the new and vastly more advanced warehouse.”

“Going back to the beginning,” he continues, “Coop approached us very early on in their decision process, when all they had to work with were some high-level logistics concepts for the future warehouse. Our first task was to validate these concepts through highly detailed analyses of their inventory, volumes, and flows and taking into account their expectations for future growth. Based on these, we were able to recommend adapting the concepts, finalise the design, and create detailed specifications which became the framework for the tender, that included the necessary technologies from high-bay cranes and mini load system to warehouse management software.”

“One of Langebæk’s unique strengths is that we have the competences and capacity to help clients throughout the duration of a complex project such as Coop Faghandel. Not just at the strategic level, , but at the operational level as well. This is important in many ways – in creating detailed designs and plans from concept solutions, in turning specifications into tender documents and negotiating contracts, in managing the construction and installing the chosen solutions, all the way through to commissioning the finished facility, be it a distribution centre, a warehouse or production line. And it is absolutely critical when, as in this case, developing the future operation whilst at the same time making sure that the existing one is running optimally.”

One of the key objectives of the project was to ensure that Coop through the expanded and upgraded warehouse would be able to continue to service its own retail channel while simultaneously allowing for the continued growth of their online business. “The two channels are very different in terms of their functionality requirements,” continues John Carstens. “Put simply, it is the difference between picking one product item bought via the web shop to be delivered to a single customer as opposed to picking 100 of the same product item to be delivered to a particular store. That necessitates a lot of flexibility in the chosen solution. This dual purpose is apparent in the design of picking and packing stations, which are capable of handling orders from both the e online shop and retail stores.

Technology and the human factor
The required flexibility posed a challenge in preparing and managing the tender process. To overcome this particular obstacle, Langebæk recommended a functional tender, which gives technology partners the freedom to develop the best possible solution. “Innovations in logistical technologies and automation solutions are coming thick and fast and have been for the last five years or so,” says John Carstens. “Under these circumstances it makes a lot of sense to involve the supplier in the design of the final solution. The chosen supplier – Swisslog in this case – will be a key partner for Coop for years to come, and involving them early on, gives them a stake in the successful operation of the solution they propose.”

Another technology challenge was getting the level of automation right. The warehouse handles a number of large – so-called oddsized – items, which are not easily automated, and, more often than not, the business case for automating them just isn’t there. Additionally, the integration between Swisslog’s WMS (SynQ) and SAP required the development of several interfaces.

In the end, projects of this magnitude will, inevitably, affect employees. Communicating with employees and helping them to cope with large and small changes alike, is important to a successful commissioning of the facility, and to the effectiveness of the operations overall. Often Langebæk are asked to provide advice towards and support the change management activities that are put in place to ensure the human factor is addressed properly.

“Coop’s approach to this particular challenge is reflected in the way they chose to assemble the team for the project. Instead of appointing the traditional project manager, with experiences in completing building projects, they selected people with experience from operations management. The idea of letting the very people who will eventually be operating the facility take the lead on the project is actually very clever. It puts the knowledge of how the system works as a whole, right where it is needed the most. The trade-off is that you need extra resources to guide and train these employees, so that they become effective project managers in their own right. Coop excelled in this regard, helping employees to acquire new knowledge and skills right from the beginning of the project,” John Carsten concludes.

About Langebæk A/S
Founded in 1977, today Langebæk A/S is the leading Supply Chain & Logistics consultancy in Scandinavia. Having completed more than 3.000 projects for over 300 clients in approximately 30 countries, the breadth and depth of the company’s expertise and experience is hard to match. From offices in Denmark and Sweden, consultants serve clients such as: Arla, Axfood, CPH Airports, Danfoss, Elektroskandia, Elgiganten, Jysk, Novo Nordisk, Matas, Mekonomen, Mestergruppen, Rockwool, Salling Group and Vestas, not to mention Coop in both Denmark and Norway.


The power of proximity

The leading Norwegian retailer Coop Norway selected Swiss-headquartered Swisslog as partner for the extensive development of their distribution center in Langhus, south of Oslo, Norway. Key factors for the choice was the ability to provide flexibility and scalability in a fair-priced solution. But, since the tender also included a full service agreement, Swisslog’s full and permanent organisation in all the major Nordic countries also paved way for the collaboration.

By Kim Forum Jacobsen

The relation between day-to-day operations of a full scale logistics compound and the provider of an intelligent Warehouse Management System (WMS), control systems and automation hardware is mission critical. This is even more so when you are in the process of designing and constructing a new site as is the case with the Langhus project that Coop Norway is currently building south of Oslo.
“In a way Coop and Swisslog has entered into wedlock, since the relationship necessarily has to last and work for years to come. Being responsible for nearly 100 % uptimes on a complex system with a huge number of components, means that we have to have a very hands-on approach especially in the first years,” says Lars Hultén, CEO Swisslog Nordics.

Knowing that the relationship had to be close, meant that the availability of a local team was a factor in the process that lead to Swisslog being chosen as provider of the logistics an automation solution.
“The cooperation will also include a system operations contract providing Coop with a combination of on-site engineers as well as software support expertise. Our team will take responsibility for the ongoing technical performance and maintenance of the intralogistics operation, so I think it was essential that we already for many years have had a full Nordic organization in place with offices and technical staff in both Norway, Sweden and Denmark,” says Lars Hultén, who is proud that Coop Norway decided to choose Swisslog as their automation partner for a central project of utmost strategic importance.
The collaboration with Coop also includes work on continuous improvements to ensure that the system develops in line with the business’s evolving requirements.

The solution
The high-bay warehouse with ceilings spanning 30 meters, is already in the construction phase. The automation and IT systems will be implemented from autumn 2019 allowing the new distribution center to be in full operation at the beginning of 2021, meeting Coop Norway´s rapidly growing retail and e-commerce sales within the non-food segments such as building materials, sports, electronics and home products.

“Our concept has been designed to utilize all the available areas in the building in the best possible way. The automated warehouse solutions consists of an automated high-bay warehouse with 48.500 pallet locations, Vectura stacker cranes, ProMove conveyor systems, pick locations/stations and an automated high-bay warehouse with Tornado miniload-cranes serving 75.000 carton locations,” says Tom Jarle Dehkes, Country Manager, Swisslog, Norway. 

The operation will be able to handle small, large and over-sized items through a combination of manual and automated processes, but this does not change Swisslogs approach to the task. 

“We have the same approach to logistics regardless of it being automated or not. It’s all about flow and securing flow, minimizing the number of operations, and securing that the operator only needs to handle the item once. This is a comparatively large installation in a Nordic context, but this is more a matter of having the right WMS with interfaces for all kinds of operation,” says Tom Jarle Dehkes.
The entire solution will be controlled and supported by Swisslog’s modular SynQ WMS. The SynQ software is designed to control both manual and automated processes, including; order strategies, store-friendly palletizing, extended cockpit functionality and yard management.

Seasoned in the Nordic markets
Swisslog is an integration company providing WMS and full logistics solutions for primarily the retail market. Having been present on the Nordic market since the seventies it has reached a position as top tier on the Nordic market and among the three largest providers on said market.
“I am certain that our market position is due to our proximity to the customers and our ability to offer a local service organization. We mainly concentrate on larger retail customers – like Coop Norway – since our solutions are scaled to provide greater benefits in larger installations, and this means that we are building and servicing installations that are core to our customers business,” says Lars Hultén, who stresses that regardless of selection method the ultimate aim is the same for both provider and purchasor; it is necessary to build and maintain a good and trusting relationship.

About Swisslog Logistics Automation
We shape the future of intralogistics with robotic, data-driven and flexible automated solutions that achieve exceptional value for our customers. Swisslog helps forward-thinking companies optimize the performance of their warehouses and distribution centers with future-ready automation systems and software. Our integrated offering includes consulting, system design and implementation, and lifetime customer support in more than 50 countries. Swisslog is a member of the KUKA Group, a leading global supplier of intelligent automation solutions with more than 14,000 employees worldwide.


New logistics park points to the future of logistics

A new logistics center is being built near the freeway in Greve south of Copenhagen. 40,000 square metres is already available in what is to become a 100,000 square metres logistics park. Builder is Belgian developer MG Real Estate who has the ambition of creating a number of modern logistic facilities throughout the Nordic region.
The new logistics park MG Parc – GDC Greve is being built as an answer to the Zealand-regions future logistics needs. The needs and demands of occupier customers are increasing so the demand for new, intelligent warehouses continues to grow. E-commerce is continuously increasing, resulting in a higher demand for larger and more efficient warehousing possibilities.
Instead of trying to utilise existing buildings, Belgian MG Real Estate has been building the park from scratch to be able to offer the possibilities and modern services of an international logistics park. This means – among other things – that the warehouse buildings have higher clear height.
“Generally the trend in logistics buildings around the world is to have roofs around the 12 meters. In Denmark the main bulk of the existing logistics buildings have quite low roofs – typically around 8 meters. This is one of the reasons we see potential for our proven solutions on the Danish and Nordic markets,” says Anton Van Vlerken, Chief Country Officer, Netherlands and Nordics, MG Real Estate.

Park design offers flexibility
The new logistics park will offer storage space for up to ten customers in a flexible setup where wall can be moved to enhance or reduce the space needed.
“We believe in parks because it gives customers flexibility to scale their logistics operation, according to the demands of their business. At the same time a well designed and modern logistic park also offers additional opportunities for the customer, like office space with good parking,” says Anton Van Vlerken.
MG Parc – GDC Greve is designed to fit the needs for future flexible warehousing facilities with premises from 10,000 to a total of 100,000 square metres on a land area of approximately 230,000 square metres.

Location, location, location
MG Parc GDC is located close to Copenhagen and gives you access to Denmark in its entirety. It connects Greater Copenhagen, Zealand and the South of Sweden. The logistics park is situated near a major highway and nearby bus, train and ferry terminals. Moreover, Copenhagen Airport is only 24 km away.
“You can access all of Denmark, and still be close to Copenhagen so MG Parc – GDC Greve is ideally located, connecting Greater Copenhagen, Zealand and the south of Sweden,” says
Anton Van Vlerken.

Sustainability is the new normal
The MG Parc GDC is being built with a number of sustainable solutions. All lighting in the building are powered by LED’s and the building will sport a number of solar panels to contribute to the buildings energy supply.
“We always search for sustainable and energy saving solutions, both for the sake of the environment, but also because it makes business sense – energy savings brings down costs and give our customers an added value, because all industries are facing demands of showing responsibility towards the environment. Sustainability is a new normal,” says Anton Van Vlerken.

Facts about MG Parc – Greve Distribution Center GDC
Located in Greve near Copenhagen with half of the population of Denmark within an hours reach 
Logistical surface approx. 100,000 square metres
Office space approx. 5,600 square metres
Generic warehouse solution – multi purpose rentals can be combined from 5,000 square metres to 87,000 square metres
Ample parking space
Ramps and gates produced to customer specification
Offices and staff rooms to customer specification
Cieling free height: 12.20 meter



From treatment supplier to solutions provider

Becosan is an established supplier of unique concrete floor treatments, making the floors impermeable to water and eliminating dust emissions. Now the Danish company is moving focus towards offering full floor treatment solutions, directly to end-users. The business proposal is cleaner warehouses with lower maintenance cost.

By Kim Forum Jacobsen

One of the biggest maintenance costs for building owners with concrete flooring is cleaning. Irrespective of business, cleaning will always be a significant drain on resources. Depending on the environment it may be necessary to clean a floor multiple times each day, so the cost mounts up. In this context it is of interest, that one of the biggest drivers of the production of dirt is likely to be the floor itself. “There are two problems with untreated concrete floors; absorption and disaggregation. Any water poured onto an untreated concrete floor is absorbed into the concrete itself making the cleaning process inefficient and wasteful of water. Furthermore untreated concrete will itself begin to disaggregate, i.e. to crumble and become dust. So as a result your floor is creating dust,” says Gary Miles, strategic advisor at Becosan. Becosan has for years been marketing the Becosan floor treatment chemicals that solve the durability problems with concrete floors. The Becosan treatment is an environmentally friendly system, especially when compared to epoxy-coated floors. Furthermore waterproof floors, that do not emit dust, saves water and has low-maintenance costs. But the real environmental benefit from treating concrete floors with Becosan comes from the fact, that it prolongs the life of the floor. “A concrete floor being hardened and polished will have an extremely long life expectancy compared to other flooring solutions. Treated concrete floors will keep for many years into the future,” says Gary Miles.

Three step process
The solution entails a three-step process, first grinding the floor to obtain a very fine micro structure, then adding the Becosan treatment, that reacts chemically with the lime in the concrete, creating a hard, waterproof surface, at the end the floor is polished and finished of with a sealant. This process has for years been done by separate companies with Becosan acting only as supplier of the chemicals. But now Becosan has changed their strategy. “We have moved towards a more direct market approach, where we often are not only the supplier of the chemicals, but also conducts the application ourselves. This is because we want to have more control of the quality of the solutions based on our product,” says Gary Miles.

Replacing epoxy coated floors
To mitigate the problems with concrete floors epoxy coating is sometimes used to seal in dust and facilitate easy cleaning – especially in the food service industry. But epoxy coating only lasts a few years before needing replacement, a process which involves the use of highly toxic chemicals with drying times of up to a week, closing down production. This was the case for Frutas Monsota on their 76.000 m² epoxy floored fruit storage near Malaga. Here Becosan is involved in a gradual replacement, which up until now has resulted in replacing 10.000 m² of epoxy-coated floor with concrete floors treated with Becosan. “The Becosan system doesn’t have the drawbacks of epoxy. No toxic chemicals are used and floor work can be done alongside the building’s normal function. The floor does not deteriorate with time and can continue to be used for many years,” says Gary Miles.

Facts about Becosan
Becosan is a Danish company providing treatment solutions for floors, roofs and walls, with offices in a number of European and Asian countries.
Apart from the Becosan concrete floor treatment, Becosan also markets a number of solutions for roofs and walls.
The solutions are unique and patented by Becosan and based on research done by Becosan. 
Becosan has their own teams to do the Becosan treatment to ensure quality and guarantee the end result.


In logistic buildings the devil is in the detail

Verdion iPark Copenhagen is a new logistics space rising up in Allerød west of Copenhagen. 14.000 square metres was taken into use use by the tennant DHL in midsummer 2018 and an additional building spanning 26.000 square metres is underway. The Danish turn-key contractor Dansk Halentreprise A/S is responsible for both buildings. Together with the experienced international developer Verdion, an extraordinary thorough and technical approach was behind the detailed optimization of the buildings – an approach that suited the contractor.

By Kim Forum Jacobsen

Having built three projects for UK developer and investor Verdion, Dansk Halentreprise knew in advance, that undertaking the contract for the new Verdion Logistics Park in Allerød meant working under the scrutiny of a client keen on details.
“Verdion is – positively speaking – a demanding client. Their team brings a high level of technical knowledge to the table and they have a laser focus on optimizing details. During the three projects we have undertaken for them, we have learned a great deal and we have enhanced our supplier network with international suppliers,” says Thomas Frost, co-owner and CEO of A/S Dansk Halentreprise.
Dansk Halentreprise sees working with a client challenging habitual thinking, as an opportunity to develop better – and more economical – solutions.
“The market for logistic buildings is highly competitive with a strong focus on micro optimization. Logistic buildings are repetitive a lot can be gained from even small changes,“ says Thomas Frost, who underscores the need to stay on top of such a market in regards to skills and market knowledge.

Committed to skills-development
Working with international partners is one of the ways that Dansk Halentreprise sources knowledge to the companys team.
“We are a relatively small company in terms of people, but we have a strong and common commitment to constantly developing our combined skills. Our staff is small, but with some of the most experienced and loyal people in the business. This is key to keeping hard-earned experience and know-how inside the company, so the next project gets lifted from the previous, always improving and adapting to new rules, regulations and state-of-the art technologies. This way we keep our pipe-line of interesting projects with both domestic and international customers,” says Thomas Frost.

Opening the books
But working with international customers also means changes in the bidding process – making offers to Verdion involves providing a lot of technical data and prices.
“The degree of technical specification is far greater than what is the market standard for building warehouses in Denmark, or indeed in the whole of the Nordic region. We had to open our books to the client, allowing them to optimize. It led to good, rational solutions and renewed contracts,” says Thomas Frost.

Looking forward
Logistics in the nordics are trending toward higher storage height, more flexibility in usage and more projects with partial or full automated warehousing. Dansk Halentreprise is currently in the process of handing over several larger warehouses built to these new requirements (DKI Logistics-Horsens, VOLA-Horsens, Frode Laursen-Sweden, and more).
Also the steady harmonizing of building codes on both european and global scale, provides new oppurtunities, cutting down construction costs and time, while increasing the flexibility of warehouses.

Verdion iPark Copenhagen
Verdion iPark Copenhagen is situated in Allerød
12m free internal height, 120m depth from facade
Up to 49.623 pallet positions (broad aisles)
50 kN/M² floor loading, 90 kN per footplate
Floor surface according to DIN 18 202, Tabel 3, line 4
200 lux LED-lighting i storage facilities, 250 lux LED in handling areas

About Dansk Halentreprise A/S
A/S Dansk Halentreprise is a midsize turn-key contractor for commercial building projects and sport arenas.Founded in 1982 by Hans Erik Frost, the family owned company is now run by Thomas Frost as the 2. generation.
Dansk Halentreprise has it’s own design department, project management team and a staff of specialized carpenters.
Projects range from 5-200 mio DKK covering all of Denmark, southern Sweden and Nothern Germany.


Bigger logistics space with less carbon footprint

Environmentally friendly solutions played a big part in the development of Danish food-service provider Hørkram’s newly finished expansion of their logistics hub in Sorø, Zealand. The expansion paved way for green solutions throughout the facility – no easy feat while maintaining operations worth an annual turnover of 2,14 billion DKK.

The expansion of the logistics hub of one of Denmark’s biggest providers of food service to the catering industry, Hørkram, is a large undertaking by all standards. The total cost of the project exceeds 430 mio. DKK, has added 30.000 m² of warehouse and factory area. This more than doubles the capacity of the compound situated at Sorø, South Zealand. The project includes a vast range of new solutions to save energy and preserve the environment. In the building phase one of the concerns was that of maintaining the integrity of production and securing food hygiene.
“Since we have a day to day operation that cannot be disrupted, we had to think very carefully at every step of the planning. Being a food-service provider with inhouse meat processing and a new fish factory, a lot of effort to seal off building areas from production areas were necessary. The number of dust curtains we have used is beyond comprehension,” says Claus Bredvig, Director of Operation at Hørkram, Sorø.
The complexity of the task is further underlined by the fact, that the warehouse is handling more than 30,000 different items, mostly food products but also a range of kitchen equipment for professional kitchens and connoisseurs.

Building design for the environment
The expansion project is born with a number of solutions aimed at reducing energy losses and protecting the environment.
“Our customers are restaurants and catering businesses and the message from them is that there is a growing concern about the environmental impact of the industry. We share this concern and as a result, we have rolled out a number of solutions reducing waste production, conserving energy and limiting exhaust,” says Claus Bredvig.
Hørkram has also introduced a series of packaging solutions to limit the use of cardboard using foldable plastic boxes that are returned and used multiple times. The fish are being kept cold during transportation in a special 2 degree chamber isolated with cold gas, so there is no ice and icewater in the process, which is both a hygienic advantage and energy conserving.
With the expansion Hørkram saw an opportunity to roll out further green solutions. There have been installed LED’s throughout the compound and on some roofs installing stonecrop roofing which slows rainwater speed to drain, protecting a nearby freshwater lake against possible sewage overflow.
Also the technical installations have been designed to limit waste.
“We have built a new central cooling system, which is far more efficient than the previous one. The new cooling system is designed to use the heat generated from the cooling system for room heating, and for de-icing the ground under the sub-zero buildings. This way of thinking is possible only if you think in terms of green solutions in the design phase,” says Claus Bredvig.


Facts about Hørkram

One of Denmark’s biggest food service suppliers to the catering industry.
Act as a total supplier to the catering industry, also providing kitchen equipment and work clothes.
Operates from two facilities in Denmark, in Sorø and one near Aarhus in Jutland. The Sorø operation has an annual turnover of 2,14 billion DKK.

“The strategy we have embraced is to build to double the turnover of our current state. The surplus capacity gives us the possibility to grow within the buildings we have now.”


Building to double capacity while maintaining day to day operations

Tasked with doubling the capacity of an already large logistics operation while maintaining full production on the existing logistics site, the contractor, danish Amatech A/S had to deploy several levels of planning and collaboration with the builder. It’s been a job that demanded confidence and intense, daily collaboration between the parts. Early in the project builder and contractor began to have daily planning sessions securing the operations for the day.

By Kim Forum Jacobsen

The demands of the market has long been stressing the capacity of the Hørkram logistics hub near Sorø, Zealand. Hørkram is one of Denmarks largest Food Service suppliers, and following the growing market, the current approx. 30.000 m² is undergoing a dramatic augmentation, doubling the capacity. And it has to be done around a hub in full operation.
“We knew in advance how complex this project would be, having worked with the builder on the project definition and the design. So very early we decided on a project organization with daily planning session with operations on the plant. This way both parties have complete knowledge of what we have to deal on the given day,” says Torben Knudsen, CEO, Amatech.

Serial and parallel building
Making the new functional buildings over 30.000 m², including a complete fish processing factory, 8.000 m² cool storage and a 14.500 m² cooled operating area and 70 new loading dock gates, required a serial production where Amatech for example would build a distribution section including ten new loading docks and launch them into operation, so they could shut the ten existing docks down for building next distribution section. In the same manner a completely new cooling system has been built to service the entire Hørkram 70.000 m2 Plant in Sorø, while the existing cooling system has to be kept running with 200 cargo trucks coming in every day.
“It’s an interesting project and has been since we began the initial project design. The number of possible conflicts with the production is way beyond normal, and we had to have solutions for every single one of them,” says Torben Knudsen, and adds:
“We are contractors because of projects like this. We made Amatech because we like to build, and especially the difficult and demanding projects, where even the CEO has to put on the Wellingtons and be on the site.”

Tested and chosen
Amatech won the contract with Hørkram after having done smaller contracts for Hørkram, which turned out to be prequels for evermore complex projects.
“We have been tested by the builder before we were offered this project, and in the same way we have tested the builder and found them to be serious and demanding, but also reasonable and realistic. I’m looking forward to be working with Hørkram again,” says Torben Knudsen.
Amatech’s next project with Hørkram/Citti could be in Germany where Hørkram is headquartered, the invitation being based – according to Torben Knudsen – on the fact that Amatech has delivered six recent building projects for Hørkram, including the one in Sorø, have been delivered on time, on budget and without interfering in the daily operation.

About Amatech
Amatech is a danish contractor based in Aarhus, Jutland.
Amatech is specialized in dealing with complex contracts for demanding customers including Saint-Gobain, Vestas, Billund Airport, and Hørkram/Citi.
Working solely as a Main-contractor Amatech has op to 160 employed workers on one of the Building Projects.
Amatech works predominantly in Denmark but has been doing projects for their existing customers abroad.


Intralogistics heavy-weight entering the Nordic markets

For more than 65 years German-based GEBHARDT has set the internal logistics of companies all over the world in trade, industry and distribution. Now, the company is launching efforts to enter the Nordic markets by establishing subsidiaries in Denmark and Sweden. Recently, GEBHARDT has conducted two large Nordic fully automated projects – Etra in Finland and Würth in Norway – and they estimate that the Nordic market for intralogistics development is at the brink of major growth.
By Kim Forum Jacobsen

Having already subsidiaries in the UK, Poland and a number of other European cities, GEBHARDT is now entering the Nordic markets with subsidiaries in Denmark and Sweden. GEBHARDT enters the market at this time because of a positive market for intralogistics solutions in the Nordic Region – a trend that the company estimates will continue.
“The Nordic market for intralogistics solutions is growing, and we expect to see even steeper growth rates in the near future. That’s why GEBHARDT found the time right to establish organisations in Denmark and Sweden,” says Sebastian Lundh, Head of the Swedish subsidiary GEBHARDT AB.
The GEBHARDT Intralogistics Group has produced conveyor technology since the start in 1952 as a small metalworking shop. Today GEBHARDT has more than 500 employees. The core of the company is the factory in Sinsheim producing the company’s full range of intralogistics and automation units as well as warehouse management software. 

As it is one of Europe’s leading companies for material handling, GEBHARDT plans and develops customized solutions for customers. The basis of the solutions is always their own products produced in the factory in Sinsheim.

Being visible in the market
In Sweden, the subsidiary has set up an office in Gothenburg. Even if the organisation is in a starting phase, the staff is already working on some of GEBHARDT Groups recently finished larger Nordic projects; Etra in Finland and Würth in Norway, both fully automated warehouses using GEBHARDT’s solutions. This underscores the need to have a physical company in the Nordic countries since intralogistics solutions are mission critical for the customers. Therefore, they have to have a service organisation nearby.
“Being visible and accessible in the near market is vital because of up-times matters a lot for our customers. We have to be able to show, that we can offer the same quality of work after sales, as we demonstrate during the project. This is only credible if we are part of the same market,” says Sebastian Lundh.
GEBHARDT in Sweden is ready for what they expect to be a boom of intralogistics projects over the coming years. 

“A lot of companies are insourcing warehouse operations and taking production back home, among other things also because automation has made this viable. This means that we will see a surge of demand for high-end intralogistics solutions,” says Sebastian Lundh, and he adds that in order to show what GEBHARDT can offer in intralogistics solution they will display a full range of products and solutions on a large stand on the annual “Transport och Logistik” Fair in Gothenburg starting November the 5th.

Making a name – also among small and mid-sized companies
Even if the demand is growing it’s still a task to enter a market. In Denmark, the lead of the Danish subsidiary was handed to Arne Balling, who has been working with intralogistics solutions in Denmark for over 20 years. According to him, GEBHARDT is well suited for all the different projects on the Nordic markets. 

“At GEBHARDT, it is always our aim to present our customers the simplest possible solution to their challenges. We provide total solutions, but the DNA of GEBHARDT is to be more flexible, so we do not just provide standard solutions. If our product range only covers 90 % of a customer’s needs, then we develop and build the missing parts for the installation. And this goes for smaller installations as well as the big projects because unlike many others, we undertake even the smallest projects,” says Arne Balling.
According to Arne Balling, there are a lot of smaller and mid-sized companies in the Nordic region, which could greatly benefit from some degree of automation but have been afraid of the cost.
“There are a lot of small and mid-sized e-businesses in Denmark that are in need of automation, but where the costs of a large automation project are prohibitive. Here we can offer smaller and less costly solutions, that can start the automation process. We even have leasing models for some of our equipment to mitigate entry costs,” says Arne Balling. 

A full intralogistics project typically takes years in the making, from the planning phase and forth, so the pathway to building good references is long. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact, that the Nordic subsidiaries are part of a much larger group with ample track record.
“Our job now is to make the name GEBHARDT known for high-quality intralogistics solutions, with a portfolio of successful projects to our name. This is, of course, a gradual process where we may start with smaller projects, but these are also part of what GEBHARDT stands for,” says Arne Balling

Service will be king
In estimating the development of the Nordic intralogistics markets, both Arne Balling and Sebastian Lundh highlight the importance of service and the ability to meet customers of any size with flexibility.
“Even if we are a big company worldwide, we have a policy of never saying no to a project because it is too small,” says Arne Balling. 
From the start of the two subsidiaries, they are making an effort to establish strong collaborations between the organisations in the two countries. Thereby, either office is a stronger partner for potential customers, and both sides can draw on the different competencies from each other.
“We are working in concert, and in concert with Germany, to establish a lean way of conducting our business. We are born with ties across Oresund and to Germany and this will be to the benefit of our customers since it will enable us to access competence and service from across our company,” says Sebastian Lundh

We find that customers are looking for a lean, clean and green solution, and this is where our backbone of products and solutions can really shine – Sebastian Lundh, GEBHARDT

Facts about GEBHARDT
Founded in 1952
Employs 500 people worldwide
Produces a full range of intralogistics automation products from conveyors to all parts of fully robotic factories.
Have conducted projects on all scales including some of the worlds largest and most automated warehouses.
In Denmark companies like B&O have been customers for a very long time.


Taking the driver out of the pallet lifter

The market for Auto Guided Vehicles (AGV’s) is rising. It is now much more likely to see a pallet lifter driving around without a driver than it was only a few years ago. The AGV’s have been the forefront of the automation wave and the estimation from Still Denmark A/S – one of the leading suppliers of intralogistic solutions and automation devices in Denmark – is that certain types of warehouses will see even more automation in the future.

By Kim Forum Jacobsen

Pallet lifters are a common sight in any warehouse. Even if the design has changed slightly, the basic shape of the vehicle has been unchanged for many decades. But there has been a significant change in who is at the controls of the pallet lifter.
“Still Denmark has, as part of the Kion Group, been delivering and producing intralogistic solutions with self driving pallet lifters or AGV’s since 2000 – and we are seeing a rapid growth in interest,” says Ole Lambrecht, Head of Advanced Operations at Still Denmark.
According to Ole Lambrecht Still Denmark’s development into delivering automation systems had grew out of the companies existing market position.
“It is our core business to sell pallet lifters, that is our way into the automation market. The development from manned pallet lifters to our solution, where the pallet lifter is unmanned is a large leap in terms of workforce administration, but technically it’s a pallet lifter mounted with our self drive package, that effectively makes it a robot,” says Ole Lambrecht.
From the development of the AGV’s Still Denmark now delivers a full range of automation solutions including full WMS systems as well as project management and counselling on automation projects. Although delivering a full range of the most sophisticated equipment, Still Denmark has a very pragmatic approach to automation.
“There is no reason to design an overly sophisticated solution to a simple problem. If a simple AGV can do the task, there is no need for advanced navigational abilities in the robot,” says Ole Lambrecht.

Keep it simple
The classical customer for the AGV’s that Still Denmark produces has a series of simple logistics operations that are repeated on a regular basis.
“Typically customers are running double or triple shifts, so they have sufficient need for uptime to reward an investment in automation. This might be a production facility or a Pharma warehouse. In these cases we can demonstrate return of investment typically within two years,” says Ole Lambrecht.
The most common solutions involves making a building layout with pathways for the AGV’s and chose tasks for the lifter. Not every operation is necessarily automated, since Still Denmark in the project phase is very keen on the right scale and automation level for the solution – aiming at long term customer satisfaction rather than selling as many units as possible.
“Our approach is somewhat conservative. We recommend to an automated solution only if we can demonstrate a good business case. We are sticky about our promises but we stick to what we promise,” says Ole Lambrecht, who underscores that automation is a heavy investment for most customers, and requires the customer to have their logistics basics in place before considering automation.
“The development of automation may seem as a revolution, but for a provider, such as ourselves, of both automation and more traditional solutions, the development is more of an evolutionary one. Companies grow into automation in sync with the technological development. That said, it is also true that solutions that were advanced three years ago are pretty mainstream today,” says Ole Lambrecht.

About Still Denmark A/S
Part of Kion Group.
Full range intralogistics provider.
Within automation Still Denmark provides full solutions including WMS, but also deliver much simpler solutions with interfaces to existing software.
has a full range of intralogistic products such as pallet lifters to work in non-automated warehouses


Robots as a service paves way for easy automation

Robots and automation are disrupting the logistics industry. But automation is costly and the outlook to lengthy transitional periods and straining production efficiency restrains a large part of the industry from making the move towards automation. Now Danish provider of warehouse hardware, Hans Schourup A/S is introducing Robots as a Service (RaaS), where self navigating robots of a proven design can be leased. Using this type of advanced robots effectively cuts introduction time and since the robots are leased, the initial investment is much smaller, paving way for automation.

Af Kim Forum Jacobsen

The robots are coming. That message has been heard throughout the logistics industry for years. And indeed the robots have been coming both in forms of self sorting shelves, VLM’s, self driving trucks and even more sophisticated combined systems – so the technology is known and proven.

But there are still factors that stands in the way for making automation and robots ubiquitous.

“A lot of our existing customers could benefit greatly from automation, and robots. But for many the costs have been prohibitive. Furthermore it is a widespread misconception that it is necessary to establish more rigid procedures, sacrificing flexibility,”
says Troels H. Jensen, CEO, Hans Schourup. 

Hans Schourup has for many years been supplying the logistics industry with stock hardware – from shelves and stacking equipment to semitrailers and hand trucks, but now they have added self driving solutions on lease contracts to their product line.
The quick implementation, that enables RaaS is made viable by using robots with a higher degree of navigation and mapping abilities than normal stock automation robots.
The robots are from US robots provider Fetch.
“Seeing the obstacles for our customers we now offer “Robots as a Service” (RaaS) providing a range of autonomous robots on lease contracts. Using an available solution with robots with high level navigation and the ability to self map their work environment, we can introduce automation to our customers in hours or days rather than months or years,” says Troels H. Jensen.

Smart robots equal quick implementation
The robots from Hans Schourup have their own navigation, and interact with the surroundings in real time to avoid obstacles, find alternative routes etc. This makes implementation of the robots into the workspace very straightforward.
“Customers only have to unpack the Fetch robot and connect it to the WiFi. Then the robots need a map of the workspace, which is made by walking them around the premise. After that it’s just a matter of creating destinations and tapping in routes and start creating workflows,” says Troels H. Jensen who adds that it only takes a couple of hours from unpacking before the equipment can be doing real work on site.
The robots come in a range of sizes from package picking aids to heavy lifters that can transport loads up to 1.5 tons – with a flexible range of different tops to support the required use. This makes them versatile and suitable for complex warehouse facilities that can benefit from combined robot/manual environments.

Many uses
Customers for the solution from Hans Schourup are workplaces where robots shall work alongside people as an aid in their work – for example webshops or hospitals. Used in this type of workflow these robots are generally known as “cobots”.
“You can use the robots – or cobots, as we prefer to call them – to undertake a lot of the “walk and wait” fetching tasks, effectively freeing staff from more menial tasks. This is compliant with the needs of those with manual warehouses or stocks, like mid sized webshops or other package handlers,” says Troels H. Jensen, who mentions that also hospitals could benefit from robotic aid, having a lot of low level fetch and drops like bed linen, equipment and even paperwork.

About the Fetch robots
The robot uses a combination of LiDAR (2D laser distance measurements) and 3D cameras to navigate safely and precisely in unpredictable warehouse environments – a technology that is also used in self-propelled cars.
Speed up to 1.5 m/sec. (5.4 km/h).
Can travel more than 32 km per day.
Can work for 9 hours on a full charge
Charging time 1 – 2 hours

About Hans Schourup
Has existed since 1870
One of Denmark’s leading suppliers of storage solutions
Is owned by non profit fund Vilhelm Kiers fund.


Digitizing the document flow for freight and export

Documents and certificates are vital for export, but time consuming to handle. Clearview Trade, a Danish software company, have marketed a solution that integrates with major shipping agents and carriers as well as legislative systems, digitizing the document flow. After rapid growth in Denmark, Clearview Trade are now looking to expand to the rest of the nordic region, starting with Sweden.

By Kim Forum Jacobsen

Moving goods requires moving a lot of papers like freight orders and customs papers. Even if a lot of the documents are attainable online, a simple order of transport may involve typing the same data into as much as five different systems. This is why Clearview Trade is marketing “Eksportportalen”.
“Eksportportalen is an integrator software that allows companies to create freight letter, customs papers and a range of other documents in one flow, securing that data is entered correctly into the respective systems,” says Poul Andersen, sales director, Clearview Trade.
The single-systems approach is possible because Clearview Trade integrates to all the leading shipping agents and carriers, transferring the bookings digitally via protocols such as EDI, XML, etc. as well as integration with international customs systems like E-export and EMCS. For the food service industry the Food Export Certificate can also be processed in the system. This has enabled Clearview Trade to double their customer base annually and made them part of the Danish Chamber of Commerce effort to help with the digitization of Danish companies.
After only three years on the market, Eksportportalen already processes 40 % of all the Food Export Certificates that are made in Denmark annually and 90 % of all Certificates of Origin
“I think our growth is due to the fact that we mitigate some real problems that any exporting company are experiencing, especially when dealing with countries outside the European single market,” says Poul Andersen.
The business model of Eksportportalen is scalable. Smaller companies, with few export shipments annually, can use the trade workflow on a pay by transaction basis, while larger companies that exports frequently, can use system integration and completely avoid the manual entry of data.

Expanding to the other nordic countries
The next step for the company is moving outside Denmark, to the other nordic countries.
“There is already the possibility for companies throughout the nordic region to use our Danish website to handle the document flow with shipping agents and carriers, and soon we will be launching a Swedish site, with customs integration as well,” says Poul Andersen.
The demand for simple document handling and a single portal for all shipments is ubiquitous, since time and cost of booking, preparing documents and certificates, reporting and subsequent customer service is reduced significantly. While expanding geographically the software of Clearview Trade is also being supplemented with additional services for existing and new customers.
“We are introducing a version targeted importing companies that are facing similar problems as the exporting industries, and our next addition which involves some technical development is the addition of financial wetting and services allowing our customers to prevalidate payments within the system and conducting the payment when the order is received. This will greatly mitigate some of the financial risks inherent in foreign trade,” says Poul Andersen

Facts about Clearview Trade
ClearView Trade digitalises exports.
Is in cooperation with the Danish Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of Danish Industry, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council, SMEdenmark and the Danish Tax Authority, Offer fully digitalised customs declaration forms as well as the issuance of Certificates of Origin.


Logistic buildings as a craft

The business of building and owning logistic facilities is driven by marginal gains. Obtaining the right prices from suppliers of elements and building material is paramount to securing the overall economy of the project, as is speed of project. In this game specialization and size matters – especially when entering new markets. 

By Kim Forum Jacobsen

Know how matters in the building process of logistic buildings. Often the projects are time sensitive, and the economy is always an issue. This is why the Swedish developer and contractor Logistic Contractor (LC) has specialised solely in developing and building logistic facilities that are designed to handle large quantities of goods efficiently and rationally. 

“It’s all we do. We know what it takes to set up an effective logistic facility – from finding the best location, right down to the detailed design of the interior and exterior,” says Mads Rohde, Head of Sales and Development, LC Denmark, who ads that LC, alongside their knowledge also has considerable negotiating leverage from being one of the largest buyers of elements and materials to logistic buildings i the Nordic region. 

“We can get better prices, simply because we buy a lot of the same item. We don’t buy one or five docking bays, we buy 200,” says Mads Rohde.   

Mads Rohde is part of LC’s activities in Denmark, where a subsidary was set up in 2016. The subsidary opens a new market for LC, who predominantly have been operating throughout Sweden, but has subsidiaries in Norway and Denmark, where the first project is underway in Taastrup near Copenhagen 

Distribution centre outside Copenhagen for TMJ.

LC is developing and constructing 6,500 square metres of warehousing and 1,400 square metres of offices in Høje Taastrup outside Copenhagen for the Danish company TMJ, a wholesaler within the pharmaceuticals sector. Construction has just started with handover at the end of 2019. The time table demonstrates one of the qualities that LC can bring to a project. 

“We have the know how and supplier network to speed up the building process, while we still maintain a good economy. This is also due to the skills that we keep in-house, giving us the ability to project and plan very swiftly,” says Mads Rohde. 

The TMJ site is a developer project for LC, meaning that LC will own the property and rent it to the customer it is customized for. 

“We are building a facility directly fitted to TMJ’s needs with high bay warehouse totally prepared for full automation of up to 27.000 trays. How we execute a project is actually the same whether we act as a developer or turnkey contractor,” says Mads Rohde. 

Two models

The model brought to work by LC is to act either as a developer, renting facilities to customers or as contractor to builders who want to own their facility. 

“Do you want to own your logistic facility, or to rent it? Whatever your preference, we offer the services needed to hand over a turnkey property tailored to your organisation. Acting both as a turnkey contractor and project developer, means we have long experience of finding the right solutions for our customers,” says Mads Rohde. 

Regardless of model LC recommends being involved at the early stage of planning for construction contracts to gain most from the process LC have developed for building logistics facilities.

Differences between the Nordic markets

As a solely logistic developer and contractor, LC has a unique possibility to pinpoint some of the differences between logistic traditions in the Nordic countries. 

“We see that a lot of the logistic building standards that we have been building under in Sweden and Norway for almost twenty years, are quite new on the Danish market,” says Mads Rohde and mentions that high bay warehouses with clear height over 12 metres is almost standard in Sweden, while it is seen as a novelty on the Danish market. 

The difference can be explained with traditions and different regulations, but part of the reason for not building over 8 metres historically in Denmark has been due to the fact that higher buildings demands fire sprinklers, and there is a fear that these could accidentally go off destroying the stock in the warehouse. Here the experience of LC might offer consolation. 

“We have built more than 1,2 million square metres of warehouses – all with sprinklers and some of them more than twenty years old now – and not in any of them has the sprinkler gone off accidentally. Not even once,” says Mads Rohde. 

LC plans to build high bay warehouses in Denmark based on the same layouts that are used in Sweden, simply because they are proven and rational.   

Building with green options

Logistic Contractor is a GreenBuilding support partner, and – through parent group, Wästbygg – also a member of the Sweden Green Building Council. 

Where buildings need to meet stricter environmental standards, LC have developed a set of standardised options called Green Options. These options can be selected individually or in combination, based on the client’s wishes and the intended purpose of the facility. 

Green Options
presence-controlled lighting
LED light fittings
ground-source heating
additional insulation in walls and roof
solar panels for electricity generation
solar thermal panels for heating
halogen-free installations
assistance with environmental certification of the property 

Facts about Logistic Contractor

Logistic Contractor specialises in developing and building logistics facilities that are designed to handle large quantities of goods efficiently and rationally. 

Logistic Contractor operates throughout Sweden and has subsidiaries in Norway and Denmark.

Logistic Contractor is part of Wästbygg Gruppen AB. 

Maintains a 30% market share of all logistic building projects over 10.000 m² in Sweden.


Tell tale devices – using IoT tracking to

reduce losses and secure quality

Electronic tagging of goods has evolved drastically. From the mere identification tag of last year, we now have full fledged data loggers, able to report incidents and mishaps as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), while the goods are on the move. The possible uses are ubiquitous as Danish provider of IoT tracking devices, Trusted A/S, has demonstrated with use cases spanning from African wildlife tracking to critical technical parts.  

By Kim Forum Jacobsen

It started with the wildlife in Africa. Prone to poachers and in declining numbers there was a need to be able to track the rhinoceros while they roamed around the Mid African savanna. “Our first tracking devices were made for the Rhinos – helping scientists and wildlife guards protect the species – but we very quickly came to realize that the combination of sensors, GPS tracking and GSM transmission we were using had far more uses than just protecting wildlife,” says Rasmus Andersen, sales director at Trusted. 

Trusted has since been marketing IoT tracking devices alongside with tracking software. It has now been widely accepted into supply chains of critical goods, chosen for the ability to not only tell where an item is located, but also what kind of treatment it has been subject to. 

“Our solutions can monitor anything from physical impact to humidity and temperature, so as to provide a full picture of what the tagged item has been subject to eg. during transportation,” says Rasmus Andersen.


Sense and transmit 

The ability to communicate as part of the IoT is another crucial part of Trusteds market offer. The battery powered devices can communicate by either the 3G/2G GSM net, by radio or even satellite – with transfer times limited to programmed intervals to ensure battery life. Once transmitted, the data from the device is loaded to Trusteds cloud based service package, giving the owner access to all data. 

““High-value goods require extra security. With our Trusted IoT devices and the cloud-based management solution our customers gets location-based insight and real-time location of assets and equipment. That way they can minimize risks like misuse, damage, loss, and theft,” says Rasmus Andersen. 

One of the uses could be to set up a geofence and get alarms, when a trailer, a container or an asset leave the selected geographic area thus preventing or obstructing theft. Since Trusted offers IoT sensors that provide data about position, temperature, humidity/moisture, dew point, shock, tilt, and light, it can be used as a tool to control and monitor both cold chain and high-value goods. 

A problem detected is a future problem less

One of the customers using Trusted IoT is the provider of hardware and services to the energy sector, B&W Vølund who contacted Trusted because they encountered problems of knowing where their cargo is and when it arrives at the final location. Since then B&W Vølund has been using the data from Trusted Visibility Suite to analyze when their cargo had been exposed to potential drop during transport and shipments. This enables them to control the handling of their valuable cargo which has turned to substantial cost savings.

“In connection with a transit at a port in China, B&W Vølund experienced that their cargo was exposed to damage. They received a message from Trusted Visibility Suite that the tracking device has measured an impact at 5,5 G – thay could even see in which direction the cargo had been dropped – and could act accordingly,” says Rasmus Andersen.

All in all knowing that an incident has happened is an added value for Vølund as it enables them to remedy or check any compromised cargo item for potential damages during transport and shipments. Real savings can be realized through documentation of damage by using Trusted tracking devices and cloud-based management solution.


Trusted A/S is a Danish company founded in 1999 and  located in Silkeborg
Products are manufactured in accordance with the following standards:
Environmental management systems: ISO-14001
Quality management systems: ISO-9001
IPC 610A klass 2 – Productions standard
Manufacturing standard: IPC-A-610 Class 2
Health and safety management systems: OHSAS 18001:2008
REACH regulation:  Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals
Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) Compliant products with RoHS-compatible components and processes
The Conflict Minerals Rule