AutoStore has expanded greatly since the 1990s, when Ingvar Hognaland from the Hatteland Group first conceived the product. Since delivery of the first commercial system in 2005, AutoStore has been developed into a patented, leading automated warehousing system purchased by national and international logistics companies, e-retailers and other end customers with large warehouses. The solution saves storage space by eliminating the need for pallets and trucks.
AutoStore uses different distributors in local markets. One of these is Element Logic, which has installed the system for a number of major Norwegian and foreign companies, including XXL Sport & Villmark, Bergans, Komplett Group and Blåkläder.
“Combining AutoStore with our logistics expertise has proven to be a very successful strategy,” says Element Logic Sales Manager Terje Skjølberg.
Export Credit Norway has provided financing for Element Logic’s customers on several occasions. UAB Devold used Export Credit Norway and GIEK’s simplified loan documentation in connection with the installation of the warehousing system at its factory in Lithuania. Read more about simplified loan documentation for loans below NOK 100 million here (LINK). Export Credit Norway provided a five-year EUR 1.2 million loan, which was guaranteed by GIEK.
Bergans GmbH in Germany has also used export financing to fund its purchase of the system.
“The obvious profitability of the project and Export Credit Norway’s simple financing plan allowed Bergans to choose an automated, rather than manual, warehousing system for its facility in Hamburg. This was the case despite the fact that costs are far lower in Germany than Bergans is used to from Norway and Hokksund. Thanks to Export Credit Norway and GIEK’s flexibility, we were able to secure the contract, and are now ideally positioned to offer expansion of the facility in the near future,” says Element Logic CEO Dag-Adler Blakseth.
Export Credit Norway provided project financing of just over EUR 1.8 million, for a term of five years. The loan is guaranteed by GIEK (90%) and DNB Bank ASA (10%).
Further growth expected
Last year, AutoStore was sold to the buy-out fund EQT, which expects growth of 7% a year in the global automated storage and retrieval (ASRS) market, driven by global trends such as increased focus on automation, robotisation, urbanisation and the need for space-saving solutions, as well as demand for quicker delivery speed and precision.