Logistical challenges: Tough but we can do it
I don’t need to tell you that this has been the most challenging start to the year in terms of logistics, because I know you are also facing many of the same hurdles. From our side, we began with some degree of disruption which is traditional during the festive season as those hauliers celebrating orthodox holidays usually take leave in early January. We were also surprised by the virulence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant which had a significant impact on hauliers and border staff throughout January and February across Europe.
Meanwhile many countries across Europe were hit by an unusually high number of strong storms and floods which led to ferry cancellations and disruption of transport networks. The increasing frequency of unusual weather patterns is sadly a factor we now face as climate change accelerates.
The onset of conflict in Ukraine has also impacted hauliers as Ukrainian truck drivers, notably in Poland, were called upon to return home to help defend their country, exacerbating the shortage of drivers yet further. And as we are all only too aware, political uncertainty has also led to soaring energy and fuel prices, so much so that hauliers are reporting that their costs are rising on an almost daily basis.
It's a challenging scenario, but we are doing all we can to ensure our deliveries run as smoothly as possible. Each day brings an opportunity to examine and optimise the many options we have, such as moving tonnage between different terminals, being flexible on routes and the use of inter-modal transport. We can also work out solutions which involve synergies customers’ logistics, for example. Together we can always find a way.
A piece of good news: The newest addition to our time-chartered vessels has arrived! Annika Baren is fitted exclusively to handle pulp. She is a perfect fit for our terminals, ensuring optimal handling of our units, and with the added advantage of new-generation technology to ensure a lower carbon footprint and greater fuel efficiency than her predecessor.
Like the rest of us, she will be playing her part to ensure we sail through these turbulent times together, hopefully emerging to calmer waters sooner rather than later.
Ola Holgersson, Södra Cell Logistics Manager
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