Case Study Salewa - Apparel Distribution - Industries - TGW Logistics Group

Europe’s leading multisport specialist for mountaineering products turns to TGW for new European headquarters

A building between technology, man, nature and home

Europe’s leading multisport specialist for mountaineering products turns to TGW for new European headquarters

    High quality sports fashion and equipment are stored, processed and shipped in the new Oberalp distribution center

    The automated mini-load warehouse flexibly stores 97,152 plastic totes and trays in a 18.5 meter high rack

    Energy efficient conveyor drives and stacker cranes equipped with energy recuperation to reduce their overall energy demand, make the Oberalp facility a pioneering project regarding energy management.


    The controls were connected to the warehouse management controls by using a gateway with distinct material flow functionality.

Oberalp Group, best known for the mountain sports brand Salewa, built a modern, energy efficient European headquarters that also houses a TGW automated mini-load warehouse for Salewa’s high quality products and equipment.

Since its establishment in 1935, the mountain sports brand Salewa has been following the philosophy of rigorously tailoring form, color and function to the needs of their target group. The company’s growing success made their Bolzano headquarters and distribution facility, in Northern Italy small. Initially, several satellite warehouses in and around the area were tried, but this proved to be a complicated solution and the wish for a new central building, where the company’s headquarters and distribution could be consolidated, became louder.

More than just a distribution center

With a total construction volume of more than 350,000 m³, and a height of 48 meters (485 feet), the new Bolzano facility was one of the largest construction projects in the South Tyrol province, and houses a whole range of business fields and activities concerning people, mountains, design and innovation. This includes an in-house kindergarten, Italy’s largest climbing hall with a climbing area of over 6,500 square feet (2,000 m2), a SALEWA flagship retail store and a fully automated warehouse system from TGW.

TGW as system integrator for automation

TGW was entrusted as system integrator for the complete automation of the new logistics center. The solution concept was created together with IWL, a German logistics consulting company. Together, a tailor-made, energy efficient and modern distribution center was implemented. TGW took over the complete installation, integrated the solution into Oberalp’s warehouse management system and supplied technology from a single source.

97,152 plastic totes for 50,000 goods

The automated mini-load warehouse stores 97,152 plastic totes and trays in the over 60 foot (18.5 meter) high racks. About 50,000 SKUs of brands like Salewa, Silvretta and Dynafit are stored in eight aisles, which are equipped with a Mustang stacker crane. At ten picking stations, replenished by the mini-load warehouse, 600 picks per shift are handled, in addition to bigger goods like skis, which are picked manually. Thus, dependent on the season, up to 30,000 goods leave the warehouse per shift.

“This technology signifies a rapid development from a manual approach to a high rate of automation”, says Hubert Andres, Logistics Director at Oberalp.

Optimum energy efficiency

“In addition to the technical aspects of the installation, Oberalp emphasizes efficient cooperation regarding Life Time Service,” says TGW Key Account Manager Michael Hartl. Due to this reason, a consignation warehouse was implemented, which TGW replenishes with spare parts and is handed over to the customer after two years. Within these two years, TGW employees are on site regularly to conduct maintenance and all-around support, including 24/7 phone support from TGW’s Life Time Service group.

“An important point in building the logistics center were sustainability and energy efficiency,” says Hubert Andres. With the conveyor equipment, where energy efficient drives were implemented as well as with the stacker cranes, which are equipped with energy recuperation to limit their energy demand, run up via an energy management program, this philosophy is implemented. “Oberalp was a pioneer project regarding energy management. The customer owns a highly developed sense for sustainability and this is mirrored in the implemented solution,” says Michael Hartl.


"For Oberalp these new technologies signify a rapid development from a lot of manual work to a high level of automation. This provides us with notably better performance."