Nine trains per day to bring wood to Finnish bio-product plant

In Finland, a new concept in the transport of raw timber was born. VR Transpoint will now take care of the transport and loading of raw wood for the bio-product plant to be built in Kemi. This is written in an agreement with the rail transport company and Metsä Group, owner of the plant.

“VR Transpoint offers Metsä Group a comprehensive service for the transportation of raw wood by train from the timber terminal to the mill. What is new about the cooperation is that VR Transpoint is responsible for receiving and loading wood at the loading terminals in Kainuu and Ostrobothnia”, the company explains.

VR Transpoint has been transporting raw wood by train for Metsä Group since 2021. With the extended cooperation, it not only takes up an added responsibility, but it will also see increased volumes on the train. Five million cubic metres of raw wood will travel to the mill by rail, which means that the mill receives an average of nine trains a day.

20% emission reduction

Although the Kemi mill’s journey in transporting raw timber by train is increasing, efficient rail transport will reduce emissions by 20 per cent per cubic metre of raw timber, the manufacturer points out.

“Environmentally friendly and reliable rail transport plays a significant role in Kemi’s wood procurement. It is only possible with a new, co-developed approach, in which wood reception, loading, rail transport and wood unloading at the mill are designed as one smooth unit”, says Hannu Alarautalahti , Metsä Group’s production director for wood procurement .

Wood loading concept

VR Transpoint’s goal is to halve the average loading time, which is possible with the help of efficient and environmentally friendly loading equipment and a transport concept created in close cooperation with customers. VR Transpoint’s partner in wood loading is Oy Adolf Lahti Yxpila Ab, which offers logistics and machine service solutions.

“Combining transportation and loading allows for accurate job planning and efficient use of resources. In addition, the response to changing situations is significantly more efficient than the traditional decentralised model in the overall service chain, as well as increasing the security of transport delivery. As the overall efficiency of logistics increases, it will also improve the competitiveness of both companies”, says Koskinen.

New rolling stock

Through the cooperation, VR Transpoint is investing in new raw timber wagons. In total, the rail transport of the bioproduct factory binds more than 400 wagons. The latest electric and diesel locomotives are used as traction equipment. The new electric locomotives will carry loads of up to 2,500 tonnes, which means about 20-25% more wood per train.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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