Just outside Falkenberg, in close proximity to their own nursery, Södra has built and inaugurated their 7,500 square-meter facility, of which 6,000 square meters consist of a state-of-the-art cold storage. Here, 40 million forest seedlings will be stored for about 8 months before being distributed to Södra’s members, eventually enriching our surroundings with new forests. EAB has been responsible for relocating all reusable warehouse solutions from existing facilities in Gislaved and supplementing new racks to optimize storage capacity to a maximum of 16,500 pallet spaces in the new premises.
In 2010, EAB delivered warehouse solutions in the form of pallet racks and the semi-automatic pallet handling system Radioshuttle™ to Södra’s rented facilities in Gislaved. Large parts of this warehouse system are now present in Södra’s brand-new facility outside Falkenberg. A warehouse that will serve Södra’s members, currently numbering 52,000, with high-quality forest seedlings.
– We felt that we wanted to own our premises and make them more purpose-built for our operations. Before deciding to build anew, we conducted a survey to determine which location would provide the best conditions for delivering robust and high-quality seedlings to our members. It became clear that Falkenberg was the optimal location. By placing our new warehouse here, we would achieve significant coordination benefits. We would reduce our transports considerably and, at the same time, improve quality monitoring by having the nursery and storage in the same place, says Tord Barone, Logistics and Marketing Manager at Södra.
Planning from the inside out
When planning the new facility, the focus was on warehouse management, flexibility, and work environment.
– We started from the inside out. That is, by meticulously laying out our warehouse to achieve the highest efficiency and flexibility possible. A top priority was also to create a good and safe working environment for our employees. Our warehouse is largely based on FILO, meaning that the seedlings loaded in first are the last ones to come out. We begin loading the seedlings into the freezer in week 44 and continue delivering seedlings until week 13. We also need flexibility to handle varying volumes of different plant varieties. We solved this by the ability to load seedlings from both directions in some of our storage shelves, which gives us great flexibility, says Marcus Eklund, Head Project Manager at Södra Construction Project.
– We conducted thorough research on the solutions available in the market regarding warehouse solutions that could meet these requirements and concluded that EAB, which delivered the warehouse to Gislaved, could also provide a very good solution for the requirements we had for the new warehouse.
75% reused storage equipment
– We examined the racks in Gislaved and found that about 75% of the equipment was still in almost new condition. That is, we could reuse 150 tons of a total of 200 tons of equipment. We disassembled the racks and replaced what was defective, mainly the front posts on pallet racks. Some adjustments were also needed, such as heightening existing posts by 1 meter, as the ceiling height in the new premises was significantly higher than before. We then had to supplement with new racks and Radioshuttle machines to create the number of pallet spaces that were the goal for the facility. In the first phase, it’s about 13,000 pallet spaces, with the possibility to increase by an additional 3,500 if needed, says Daniel Eliasson, project manager for Södra’s project at EAB.
Cold storage for better control and quality
Storing forest seedlings in cold storage is an effective way to control the entire chain. By providing the seedlings with the right conditions from the start, the best possible conditions are created to deliver high-quality seedlings for new forests to Södra’s members.
– Forest seedlings are cold-stored during the winter season to provide efficient logistics and to deliver robust seedlings throughout the spring. When the temperature drops to about 4 degrees below zero, the conditions for, among other things, fungal attacks disappear. The demand for forest seedlings from our members is high, and we expect it to continue to increase. Our new cold storage will help us grow with quality and good control, allowing us to deliver even more and better seedlings to our members until delivery and planting, says Tord Barone.
More green benefits
In addition to reusing existing warehouse systems and significantly fewer transports between the nursery and the warehouse, the new facility has several environmentally positive advantages.
– Another important goal with our new warehouse was that it should be as energy-efficient as possible, which is crucial when we have such large areas, about 6,000 square meters, that need to reach a freezing temperature for about 8 months per year. Our estimate for electricity consumption is that it should decrease by up to 20 percent in the new premises. In connection with the building, we have also installed solar panels, says Marcus Eklund.
The facility was inaugurated in the fall, and now the loading of forest seedlings into the new warehouse is in full swing.
– We are incredibly pleased with the end result, and the facility is today one of Sweden’s most modern warehouses for this type of operation. We have already received requests for visits from both our own and completely different business areas that can benefit from our approach to layout and efficient use of storage space. EAB has been responsive and proactive throughout the project, so we’ve had a really good project climate. Adjustments and changes always arise during the journey, but it has flowed very well throughout the project period. We even finished ahead of schedule thanks to EAB’s skilled installers who completed the installation faster than estimated, something that also resulted in a positive cost outcome for us, says Tord Barone.
In addition to warehouse solutions, EAB has also delivered and installed the steel frame and roof sheeting for the property on behalf of the general contractor MTA, Halmstad. Outside the general contract, Södra has procured solar panels, warehouse solutions, refrigeration, and switchgear.
Fakta infrysning av skogsplantor
Merparten av landets skogsplanteringar görs på våren med plantor som har övervintrat i kyl, frys eller på friland. Plantornas vitalitet avgörs till stor del av hur väl plantorna har klarat lagringen. För att plantorna ska ha bra kondition krävs en god kontroll på lagringsmiljön och bra kunskap om plantornas invintringsprocesser. Genom fryslagring slipper man bland annat angrepp av skadegörare. De fryslagrade plantorna ska inte planteras efter 1 juli eftersom tiden för skottskjutning och invintring då blir för kort.