Swedish forest industry companies have increased their rail transports by 75% in the period 2001-2008 and the positive development is expected to continue according to Staffan Thonfors of Skogsindustrierna trade association, Finland Logistics reported. Sveaskog will continue to increase its rail transports and SCA has decided to start transports of wood chips by rail.
The forest industry's rail freight volume in 2008 was 7.7 million cubic metres, compared to 4.4 million cubic metres in 2001. The increase corresponds to 77,000 truck loads. Total costs for transports of round timber is about SEK 7.30bn (EUR 647.73mn USD 823.61mn) a year of which truck transports account for SEK 6bn. The remainder is transported via rail (SEK 545mn) and sea (SEK 660mn).
The forest industry aims to cut CO2 emissions per ton by 20% by 2020. The financial crisis could however reduce the willingness to invest in environment friendly transports according to the paper. One consequence is that the volumes have dropped and that several small companies will go under. The capacity for the industry as a whole will however not be affected, according to Thonfors.