K.Hartwall is a global and family owned finish company with more than 85 years in design and development of load carriers for Retail, Postal, Automotive and industrial manufacturing industries in more than 65 countries. Their mission is to support the customers to transform and optimise their logistics supply chain.
K.Hartwall can bring a comprehensive solution portfolio to your company to solve challenges thought out the supply chain: A-Mate Mobile Robots (AGV), LiftLiner Tugger Trains, Foldable or nestable roll containers, dollies& beverage trays.
With more than 1500 satisfied customers they can say that they are doing business from South America to Australia and New Zeeland.
Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?
K.HARTWALL: K.Hartwall has very good references from big players in all areas we are working with among other Royal Mail, Posti, Havi, DHL, Mega Image, Inex Partners, ICA, Schneider Electrics, Brose, BMW, Volkswagen, Schaeffler,etc
Main areas of activity are Retail, FMCG, Postal&Parcel, Automotive (Lean) and industrial manufacturing industries.
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
K.HARTWALL: Our New products for 2020 are connected with our AGV business.
After K.Hartwall acquisition in 2018 of A&A Logistik-Equipment GmbH & Co. KG., a German company providing logistics equipment for different industries, now are able to provide a wide range of AGV products on the market such as A-Mate Mobile Robots (AGV) and also LiftLiner Tugger Trains.
E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?
K.HARTWALL: Postal and Parcel industry has been growing a lot recently as well as soaring at the moment as a result of COVID – 19 pandemic. The parcel volumes are increasing, as is the pressure to cut operational costs when handling letters, parcels and 3PL operations. Identifying the need, we have combined all our accumulated know-how and experience to come up with the next generation of Postal Logistics.
The retail industry is also slowly and steady growing as well as focusing on home delivery and e-commerce for which we are making new solutions as nestable picking trollies for example.
After a significant growth the last couple of years, as the Automotive industry has slowed down drastically since the pandemic started and we have recorded red figures in 2020. As we all know in 2020 customers were mostly buying food and having home delivery instead purchasing new cars.
E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products?
K.HARTWALL: Current trends are not showing a fast recovery but we expect things to move forward in 2021.
K.Hartwall is always thinking ahead and wants to go in the same direction with demanding market trends and therefore we have been invested in the AGV’s business mainly for Automotive industry as well as Postal&Parcel and Retail .
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
K.HARTWALL: What we know for sure is that Postal&Parcel market will continue its growth in coming years and expert forecasts have foreseen that the number of parcels shipped worldwide will double from 2020 to 2025. Our way of shopping has made a permanent shift.
Booming e-commerce combined with tougher customer expectations will increase the pressure on parcel operators to deliver even faster, in cost-efficient and sustainable way.
Conversion to online shopping will accelerate investments in technologies, drive efficiency and automation in a much faster pace than foreseen before the pandemic.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, big number of retailers were recording growth in turnover. As we all know at the start of pandemic most of the restaurants, bars were closed so people were buying fresh food and drinks from retail stores.
This means that retailers needed to focus also to improve these fresh categories of food, meaning a different logistics approach
Future stores should be the future in retail market. Nowadays you can see number of new opened stores offering the entire package, you can sit and order a meal or drink inside of the selling area like you would be in a restaurant.
Focus will be on fresh and healthy food which will require fast and efficient logistics: more frequent deliveries and shorter lead time.
On the other side, retailers will have to find ways to cut down manual work in stores as much as they can. Speed up replenishment of the shelves, increase on shelf availability, automatize ordering processes, release employees dealing with logistics and administration all day long by implementing different load carriers, and self-service cash desks. Leaving more time for store employees to talk with customers and make the customer experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.
To summarize operations in retail logistics will need to be really cost- and time efficient and done in a quality way.
When we talk about future trends in automotive industry, first let´s start with few facts which will stay the same in the future:
Constant push for higher effectivity and productivity;
High pressure on space utilisation;
High level of standardisation.
Based on that, we can expect following trends:
Demand for solutions which help to deal with increasing costs of operators and with lack of operators, i.e. high tugger train capacity;
Demand for solutions which are flexible and can be used for today´s and tomorrow´s projects, i.e. equipment’s ready for both manual and automated handling;
Request for higher safety, i. e. forklift free environment;
Request for improved ergonomic, i. e. no manual box reloading;
Implementation of automated processes (robots, AGV).
E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?
K.HARTWALL: We develop new products carefully observing and listening to the markets all over the world. Present in more than 65 countries we cover whole world with our Sales force and our Representatives, from South America to New Zeeland. Our Sales department is our “ears” listening to our customers’ requirements. Together with Engineers in our production department we are developing new solutions to improve Logistics efficiency together with our customers.
The most important news regarding new products at K.Hartwall and what we are proud of is wide range of AGV’s.
The Liftliner® is also a very advanced and compact tugger rain solution which fits the needs of our customers on the market.
It enables loading and unloading from both sides ensuring a very flexible and efficient route planning when supplying your production lines.
Very interesting solution in Automotive, Postal as well as Retail.
A-Mate AGV, automated mobile robot replacing manually driven forklift trucks, will reduce labour costs and dependency on skilled labour.
Agilo, which we have developed for OEM’s is a high-end conveyor AGV. Thanks to its unique gripping table it can pick up load carriers from both sides in a safe and secure way. The omnidirectional drives ensure that it can move quickly and safely even in confined spaces. AGILO drives to the roller conveyor, grips various load carriers and delivers material to the robot.
In Postal and Parcel industry, there is a lot of new Parcel cages/roll containers with which you can speed up the operations, optimise vehicle cubic fill, and save time and money.
In the retail industry, we developed cages for DIY sector in order to reduce carbon emission by using our ®SmartCube family products for bulk and odd size items.
Increase utilization of trucks up to 80%, reduce stretch foil, decrease time for lose loading/unloading.
Also, what is worth to mention is our new concept of picking trolley. Listening to requests from all our retail customers, we had to react and find a solution which is efficient, space saving and innovative.
At this moment K.Hartwall developed the most innovative model of picking trolley. The main difference from others is that it is extremely space- efficient as it is nestable, like shopping trolley. A lot of our customers are complaining that they do not know what to do with picking trolleys since they take so much space and make their operations running slowly.
E.E: What estimations do you have for 2020?
K.HARTWALL: Considering the situation with COVID-19, we at K.Hartwall are satisfied how we manage to go through this challenging year. We even manage to grow our business compared to last year. Why? Because we reacted in an agile way to our customer demands and were able to supply the right solutions for our Parcel and Retail customers who has an increased need for cost- and time-efficiency. And we are definitively excited to see how 2021 will look like as we have a full portfolio of future-fit logistics solutions for our customers to solve their future logistics challenges.
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