Optimization of transport routes

Kärcher sees reducing and compensating for climate-damaging emissions as an important milestone on its journey to becoming a climate-neutral company. Kärcher’s production has already been CO2-neutral since 2021. Next in line is their supply chain.

Kärcher decided to consolidate external warehouse stocks into the existing central warehouse in its quest for optimization of transportation routes and the associated reduction of CO2 emissions. This meant expanding the existing high-bay warehouse to provide sufficient extra storage capacity in the central warehouse.

Expanding storage capacity benefits the environment

More than three million delivery note items (spare parts and accessories) are shipped from the central warehouse to destinations all over the world every year, and other global logistics services are also managed there. The high-bay warehouse expansion will triple the existing storage capacity in the spare part and accessories high-bay warehouse to ensure safe and fast movement of goods and replenishment for order picking.


Key Facts


Kärcher is the world’s leading supplier of cleaning technology. The family-owned company employs 15,330 people in 80 countries and over 150 subsidiaries. More than 50,000 service centers in all countries ensure seamless customer service worldwide.

The challenge

  • Long supply routes from the external warehouse
  • Lack of parts availability
  • Coordinating individual trades of steel construction, materials handling technology and stacker cranes
  • Reducing CO2 emissions in the supply chain


  • Double-deep high-bay warehouse for compact storage
  • Expansion of central warehouse storage capacities
  • io as central project management partner
  • Saving on transport routes between external and central warehouse

Order volumes are going to grow and we need to be prepared for that. The high-bay warehouse expansion will eliminate the need for additional transportation between warehouses in the future. This saves around 11,000 kilometers a year – a significant benefit for the environment. With io’s experienced consultants at our side, we could carry out the expansion within the planned budget and time frame.

Oliver Kienzle Head of Physical Distribution at Kärcher

Implementation within 11 months

io’s support enabled Kärcher to complete the expansion of the Global Parts Center in Obersontheim in only 19 months, starting in April 2021 and successfully commissioning the facility in December 2022. io was responsible for detailed planning, tendering and implementation.

The basic project concept was to integrate the new high-bay warehouse into the existing logistics setup. An electric overhead conveyor with eight vehicles connects the picking workstations and supplies the high-bay warehouse.

Parts availability was a particular challenge during the project. Multinational crises meant that parts were not always readily available, so new ways had to be found to solve this problem. Close communication with the suppliers and Kärcher's involvement in the procurement process provided the required alternative solutions.


The decision for an electric monorail system and an additional connection of the picking workstations to the container conveyor system means we are ideally placed to adapt our processes to changing customer requirements in the future as well

Fabian Grajer Project manager at Kärcher
Your contact
io site manager Dortmund Frank Czaja
Dr. Frank Czaja
Business Unit Manager Logistics