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On the right track towards the future

Rail is the best transport option from the perspective of the climate, and Setra is working in several areas to increase the proportion of rail transport. During 2020, the share of wood products that made at least part of their journey by rail almost doubled.

How have you managed to increase the share of rail transport?

We’ve started making more use than previously of the rail terminals located close to the units where we manufacture our export products. For example, goods for Asia are loaded into containers directly at the sawmill and then carried by road to a railway terminal. From there, they can travel all the way to the port in Gothenburg, from where we ship the majority of our exports. We have also been using the railway solution from Gävle to Gothenburg more frequently and reduced the volume shipped by vessel from Gävle. In other words, we have replaced a number of our sea transport loads with rail transport.

Is it possible to increase the use of rail transport outside Sweden as well?

Wood products destined for customers in Europe are still collected by lorries. Some trailers are then loaded onto railway wagons in Sweden, which transport them to the destination country where they are loaded onto another lorry that completes the delivery. We are in dialogue with our transport booking partner about making it easier to book solutions of this kind. So there is potential for increasing the proportion of goods that travel down through the continent by rail.

What is Setra’s vision for the future as regards rail transport?

In an ideal world, there would be rail connections to all our units. We would then be able to receive trains of empty containers that we could unload, fill up and then have collected by another train. However, the investments involved are considerable so we need to investigate the situation carefully and look into the infrastructure issues beyond our own gates. We are running several projects intended to improve access to the rail network near our units. For example, we are working with the Swedish Traffic Administration and the Municipality of Heby to analyse the possibility of a new industrial track and terminal at the sawmill. This is an initiative with the potential to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 2,500–3,000 tonnes per year.

Maria Jansson, Logistics Manager

Published: 2021-08-31

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