Oslo Airport streamlines its duty-free shopping with AutoStore

For Travel Retail Norway, decreasing the picking time and utilising available space was essential when choosing its next storage solution. The answer was AutoStore provided by Element Logic.

“It is impressive how much capacity Element Logic managed to create in our warehouse space”, Øivind Andersen says. Øivind is the logistics coordinator for Travel Retail Norway, the company operating the duty-free shops at Avinor’s largest airports.

The tax-free shops at Oslo Airport are very popular, and with limited storage space, TRN is dependent on smart and efficient solutions.

Click & Collect taxfree products with AutoStore

Element Logic upgraded the Click & Collect service from TRN with a flexible AutoStore system.

“Several customers intended to shop with Click & Collect, but they did not have time to pick up the order due to the long waiting time. That is why automation was necessary for us”, Andersen explains.

“After automating, customers can collect duty-free goods one hour after ordering. Previously, travellers had to order at least six hours before landing”

TRN stores all the duty-free bestsellers in the AutoStore bins at Oslo Airport. In addition, they offer exclusive wines only available via Click & Collect, and the plan is to expand the range of exclusive products over time.

SPACE EFFICIENT: Element Logic tailored the AutoStore solution to fit the available space, giving TRN 64 percent more storage capacity.

“AutoStore has increased our capacity, and we must use it. More Click & Collect orders equals less stress for customers and increased sales for us”, Andersen says.

A GOOD MATCH: TRN is pleased with the efficiency and capacity the AutoStore system provides in its limited storage area.

“We see great opportunities”

Despite limited air traffic during the pandemic, TRN saw opportunities. When most shops and services surrounding Oslo Airport had to close, Click & Collect made AutoStore shine, and travellers could order duty-free products and collect them outside the store.

“We were able to offer a 15-minute delivery for duty-free products because of automated Click & Collect during this period. Our customers appreciated that”, Andersen says.

AIMING FOR INCREASED SALES: Now that air traffic is slowly approaching normal, TRN aims to increase Click & Collect sales. So far, it looks very promising.

“Tax-free products and AutoStore are, without a doubt, a good match. We have several small items, and the opportunity for smart storage is worth its weight in gold”, Andersen from TRN says.

TRN is also considering using AutoStore to store products used daily for operations and maintenance for increased efficiency.

“Limited storage space is a well-known problem for airports around the world. AutoStore, with its modular and flexible solutions, is the answer to many challenges”, Øyvind Kollerud, Sales Manager, Element Logic Norway, says.

Utilised each millimetre of storage space with AutoStore

The automation of TRN’s warehouse was challenging compared to other projects. Two important reasons were strict security requirements at the airport and a storage room with an unconventional floor plan.

In the design phase, the team made ten different proposals on how to build the AutoStore grid. The final solution ended up having the operator ports located in a tunnel inside the AutoStore, opposed to the more common location outside. This placement was one of the strategies to save as much space as possible for TRN.

There is room for 163 m3 with stationary shelves in the storage area, which is equivalent to 2,178 AutoStore bins. With AutoStore, the capacity has increased by 64 percent.

“To handle the same storage volume that TRN has with AutoStore, a 66 percent larger storage area would be necessary. That is 949 m2”, Kollerud from Element Logic explains.

MEASURED MILLIMETRE BY MILLIMETRE: TRN’s warehouse has a lower ceiling height than most other warehouses, only 5,5 meters. The grid has just enough space for the robots and an operator

“We have utilised each available millimetre in the storage area. The result is impressive space utilisation and a solution that allows TRN to streamline its product flow from warehouse to the customer”, Kollerud says.

In an advanced project like this, preparation is crucial. As a big part of the system differs from standard measurements, the Element Logic team had to measure all dimensions precisely. The team measured several times to be one hundred percent sure that they set up the solution correctly.

“The team from Element Logic was able to adapt to challenges that occurred. It was a good collaboration, and the team always listened to our feedback”, Andersen from TRN says.

Element Logic:  The warehouse automation partner

In addition to challenging floor plans and small margins, fire safety is also different in TRN’s AutoStore system.

Customers often use sprinklers as fire protection in their facilities. TRN, however, uses FireEater due to strict airport security requirements. FireEater is a technology that reduces oxygen in case of fire. 

“It is exciting to be challenged by a customer on both solution and design. It makes it even greater when the customer says he is satisfied and impressed”, Kollerud says and adds:

“As a customer of Element Logic, you do not just buy a service but also an automation partner that invests time to create the right solution. We appreciate it when a customer is involved and has requirements. That is when we get the best result”.

SATISFIED: The TRN staff at Oslo Airport were positive from the beginning and shared the excitement for automation.

Facts and figures

  • 340 m2 available area
  • 318 m2 area for AutoStore
  • 10 Red Line robots
  • 6 077 bins
  • 4 carousel ports

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