A loaded question
A high demand for goods, a shortage of drivers and a pandemic have put exceptional pressure on logistics throughout Europe. We are not immune from these factors at Södra. Here in Sweden, we rely in incoming trucks supplying our major industries to provide capacity for us as they leave the country. With some industries forced to close due to a lack of components, this has meant fewer trucks coming in, and therefore fewer going out carrying our timber.
For Södra’s Senior Sourcing Manager Anders Ripström, resilience in logistics is born out of cooperation
Fortunately we foresaw the need to increase our use of intermodal transport some years ago, and it has been working well. Transport with rail has been quite stable in general but, most recently, floods and a railway strike in Germany have affected rail routes too, but an intermodal approach reduces our exposure to issues affecting single transport modes and gives us options when things get tricky.
The situation in the UK, a very big market for our sawn timber, has been challenging, however. The UK has fewer intermodal options than elsewhere and is highly dependent on hauliers, so the impact is significant.
In the circumstances we have managed well, thanks both to close cooperation with customers to optimise ordering and deliveries and also thanks to the strong partnerships we have built with haulage companies and ports. We have also managed to take advantage of the opportunity to combine pulp and timber shipments together wherever this is advantageous.
So in most circumstances we have managed to maintain stable deliveries despite less-than-ideal circumstances. Rest-assured we shall continue to do all we can to get our wood to the right place at the right time.