The solution-driven approach from Toyota's racking team delivered a flexible storage system at Barona

In the spring of 2022, Barona Varastopalvelut opened the shiny new logistics centre Avialogis in Viinikkala, Vantaa, Finland. Already in its first phase, there are more than 20,000 shelf spaces, and around 40 forklift trucks, both from Toyota Material Handling, whiz by in the corridors.

About Barona

Barona Warehouse Services offers both in-house outsourcing of internal logistics at the customer's premises and in the storage services of their own warehouses. In in-house outsourcing, the warehouse continues to operate at the customer's premises, but Barona is fully or partially responsible for its operation. From Barona's own warehouses, they provide modern solutions for all types of companies, as well as a ready-made concept for the logistics of online stores. In 2022 they opened their brand-new logistics centre Avialogis. 

Facts & figures: 

Customer satisfaction and local support determined the choice of partner

Juha Salo, Logistics Director of Barona Warehouse Services, started thinking about a storage and forklift supplier for the new Avialogis logistics centre a couple of years ago. There was already a long history working with Toyota Material Handling on the implementation of previous warehouse solutions. “The collaboration has been extremely easy”, Salo explains, “Things are moving forward as agreed. I have always been able to get hold of the people at Toyota when I needed advice. I can only be very pleased to have Toyota as a partner.” 


“When we started planning the tender, we consulted Toyota to verify which kind of shelf solution would suit us best”, Salo recalls. Toyota Material Handling was chosen in June 2021 because the know-how of its local organisation and the readily available product support were found to be better. 

“Toyota's experience in both forklifts and the development of battery technology convinced us. The nearby local maintenance partner was also an important factor in the selection round”, Salo expresses. 

The wide selection of forklift trucks contributed to the choice. About 40 new machines were ordered and there will be more according to growing needs. All new reach trucks were acquired through leasing and the other machines were bought. 

When choosing forklift trucks, Salo had one guiding principle from the beginning: all machines had to have a lithium-ion battery. “Lithium-ion battery trucks are the right choice for us in terms of space utilisation, because they do not require their own charging room.” 

The use of machines with lithium-ion batteries was studied by simulation, so that the charging and operating times of the trucks could be calculated. Based on the analyses, the exact number of trucks needed for the operation was determined. 

A well-planned racking installation

The Avialogis project consists of two parts, of which the first half, put into operation in April 2022, is traditional pallet storage. The installation of the shelves began in January 2022, as soon as the completion of the building contracted by Varte Oy allowed it. The work progressed alongside the final construction works, according to the plan drawn up by Toyota's experts. “The installation went at an incredible speed. I never would have guessed that the construction of shelves could happen so quickly”, Salo admits. Installation of the racking system was done on a turnkey basis: 2400 frames and 32800 beams. 


Even problematic situations were dealt with swiftly. This happened, for example, when the trucks bringing shelving materials from Belgium and the Czech Republic could not drive inside the building because the floor would not have supported their weight. So, 25 truckloads of steel were unloaded in the yard and moved inside with forklifts. 

“Throughout the project, Toyota's experts have been proactive and solution-oriented when problems have arisen. We haven't been left to our own devices, but we've been moving forward all the time”, Salo says with satisfaction. The installation of the forklift fleet was also done as promised. 

The shelves were installed by the end of March, when the building was handed over to Barona. After that, the shelves began to be filled at a brisk pace. 

Flexible storage according to customer needs 

When configurating the racking, changes in weight or size of the pallets were taken into account. Avialogis' shelf structure can easily be changed according to customer needs. “We make weekly changes to shelf heights and load capacities. It's great that we have competent experts who make the changes quickly and flexibly without disrupting our daily operations”, according to Salo, “The division of labour is such that our warehouse management system operator updates the changes to our system and Toyota's subcontractor makes the physical changes the same day.” 

There is plenty of space at Avialogis, as its total area is 33,000 square meters. Of this, 5,000 square metres is the small goods warehouse in the upper loft. The free height of the space is 12 metres. 

Goods from three old Barona warehouses were moved to the roughly 21,000 pallet spaces created in the first phase of the project. The platform warehouse includes 7,000 places (about 400 frames and 5000 beams), spread over three separate areas, for dangerous substances with class labels: 

  • one for combustible liquids
  • second one for acids
  • third one for bases
  • aerosol products will also be stored, in separate cages 

When the building is completed, about two-thirds of the premises will be in use. So, there is plenty of room for new customers. 

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