Smart automation for flexible fulfilment and international growth


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A world without food waste – this was Motatos’ vision when first established as Matsmart in Sweden in 2014. In 2020, the online shop also launched in Germany and relies on FIEGE for warehousing and fulfilment. The logistics service provider and the eCommerce company are now gearing up for further joint growth in international markets with the help of automation.

Highlights at a glance

  • Fighting food waste: Motatos, founded in Sweden in 2014 under the name Matsmart, is successfully scaling its sustainable business model throughout Europe.
  • Motatos draws on FIEGE's extensive logistics expertise to enter new markets. The profitable partnership increases efficiency - also with the help of modular automation.
  • With the new AutoStore, FIEGE is paving the way for flexibilisation and further growth, enabling Motatos to save even more food in the future.

Every year, around eleven million tonnes of food are thrown away in Germany. That amounts to 78 kilogrammes per person, despite the fact that most of it is still perfectly edible. The reasons for this are manifold, says Dominique Ertl, Country Manager Germany at Motatos: “Next to overproduction, faulty packaging and seasonal produce, more often than not it will be the best before date which is about to expire, or only just expired. We refused to simply stand by and look at this gigantic waste.”

Gründerteam von Motatos

We, that refers to initially Uffe, Erik and Kalle (fltr) who roughly 10 years ago began to collect overstocks from the suppliers of a supermarket and offered the food thus saved at a lower price online. Their idea struck a chord with a society whose awareness of sustainability and the handling of resources was growing. “Many shoppers posted pictures of their orders on Instagram so that the idea spread like wildfire. This then led to a full-fledged movement”, so Ertl.

Sqm of logistics space
Changing items
Robots in the AutoStore

Boundless growth: the path to international markets

As tends to be the case with social networks, this movement spilled across the country’s national borders. It quickly became clear that food waste is an issue that was a thorn in the side of many people living in other countries, too. In the meantime, Motatos operates not only in Sweden but also in Finland and Denmark, and since April 2020 even in Germany.

To launch on the German market, we needed a logistics company with comprehensive experience in food as well as eCommerce logistics. We found that in FIEGE.
Dominique Ertl

An essential criterion in opting for FIEGE was flexibility. Motatos offers a regularly changing product range of more than 1,400 articles which is reliant on the suppliers. Add to this that buyers’ shop a rather complex mix of products, and it explains why order optimisation played a crucial role in partnering with FIEGE. “We needed a scalable set-up to ensure success since we need partners who will grow together with us. With its multi-user structure, FIEGE was able to provide an ideal combination to us at its location in Großbeeren”, Ertl explains.

Dominique Ertl, Country Manager Germany bei Motatos

Dominique Ertl, Country Manager Germany at Motatos.

Automation of warehouse logistics ensures flexible fulfilment

The desired success came fast. To handle the ongoing increase in orders, the initial logistics area of 5,000 square metres has by now doubled in size. With a network that comprises more than 300 partnering companies, Motatos has helped to avoid over 23,000 tonnes of food waste in Germany alone together with 280,000 food rescuers. “That is why we sat down with FIEGE in the spring of 2022, to plan the next steps of our co-operation. To elevate our fulfilment to the next level, automation also came up for discussion”, Ertl says.

The two companies decided to build an AutoStore and sign a long-term contract renewal. The first expansion stage of the automated storage and retrieval system features around 100,000 bins and up to 250 robots and will be set up in Großbeeren starting February of next year. It is scheduled to go live in November 2024. A total of 18,000 square metres will then be available for Motatos in the multi-user centre south of Berlin.

We launched our Austria online shop last year and intend to grow further in the future. We are pleased to have a reliable partner by our side in FIEGE.
Dominique Ertl

Looking to the future: focus on further scaling

According to Ertl, the changed market situation in combination with high inflation are currently noticeable: “Costs are rising everywhere. Many people and even businesses are forced to make their money work double time.” Motatos’ business model offers valuable savings both for producers as well as for consumers especially in these times and compared to other sustainable providers.

Motatos Saved

At the same time, Motatos continues to find new ways of fighting waste. “Our core mission is to tap producers for products that never make it to the supermarket. We now access the supply chain early on, for example by processing unwanted fruits and vegetables into pastes and pesto ourselves”, Ertl explains. Chances are good that Motatos will be saving even more foods in the future which are quite simply too good to go to waste.

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