The 30,000 m2/400,000 m3 warehouse built for logistics company Transval is the latest significant investment in logistics in Finland. Construction work on the 6.5 ha plot in Bastukärr, Sipoo, will commence in February. Larger than four soccer fields, the warehouse will be completed in 2022. The total cost of purchasing the plot and constructing the warehouse is approximately EUR 37 million.
“For us, this is a significant investment. We are proud to be able to provide our customers with a responsible warehousing service utilizing new technologies and automation. Two million euros are invested in green energy solutions. Our investment in the new warehouse is in line with our goal of growing as a logistics outsourcing solution and material management service provider as well as ensuring our role as a pioneer and market leader in Finland. According to projections, the logistics outsourcing rate of companies operating in Finland will grow by roughly 20% in the next 10 years,” says Sakari Kiiskinen, SVP, Transval.
According to Kiiskinen, there is demand among businesses for efficient, diverse and environmentally responsible warehousing services.
A significant driving force behind the need to outsource logistics, such as a warehouse, is the ability to flexibly adjust the number of employees and competence required to provide a physical space and service to companies’ current requirements. At seasonal peak times, companies require significantly more space for their products than normally. According to Kiiskinen, other drivers include risk-sharing, utilizing new logistics technologies and know-how provided by a partner as well as the need of companies to focus on their own core business.
“Especially in exceptional circumstances, companies are well-advised to ensure a sufficient warehousing buffer, i.e. they should have products in warehouses that are geographically located in Finland to reduce their dependence on imports in exceptional circumstances. The facility built in Sipoo is specifically designed for the needs of import, food, wholesaling and retail. The decision regarding the ability to control temperature in the warehouse will be made at the start of the year.”
There is a plan in place to invest EUR 2 million in so-called green energy solutions during the construction stage.
“During construction, we will make choices regarding the building’s energy-efficiency and CO2 emissions. For instance, we will utilize geothermal heat solutions for heating the building and solar power for producing electricity. Controlling the technical systems of the property will be largely based on advanced automation solutions to ensure the energy-efficient use of the property. All energy which is not produced on-site will be purchased as carbon-free energy,” says Kiiskinen.
Transval and its parent company Posti companies are 100% carbon neutral through compensation.
According to Pirjo Sirén, the development manager of the municipality of Sipoo, this is one of the most significant investments made in Sipoo.
“We are very grateful that, thanks to fruitful cooperation, the Bastukärr area are will now receive a modern, sustainable warehouse. The jobs related to the project are also very welcome.”
In addition to fixed storage shelving, the warehouse will include electronically controlled mobile shelf systems. The mobile shelves will double the storage capacity of a similar-size areas compared to fixed shelving. A third of the nearly 60 electric forklift trucks planned for the space will be unmanned, i.e. automatic. The forklift trucks will be controlled by means of laser navigation.
The articulated vehicles arriving at the warehouse will be directed using a digital control system, which automatically identifies the vehicles and directs them to a pre-planned unloading/loading dock. All in all, the warehouse will have 28 loading docks for articulated vehicles and 10 loading docks for vans.
As things stand, Transval’s new warehouse in Sipoo will provide jobs for 100 logistics professionals. The planned staff facilities will accommodate up to 150 employees.
“All in all, Transval employs roughly 5,000 logistics professionals. About 1,000 employees work at our own warehouses. The rest are located on our customers’ premises at factories, production facilities, terminals, harbors or, for instance, shops and stores,” says Kiiskinen.