Photo: Emil Nordin

The forest industry carries out many short transfers – from the forest to the industrial facility – but also many long-haul shipments to customers around the world. Sustainable transport is therefore high on the agenda.

Transport plays a key role in our society. We depend on transport, both on our own travels and in getting access to the products we need.

As Sweden’s biggest transport buyer, the forest-based industry is constantly working to make transport more efficient and to create the right conditions for more sustainable transport. Researchers within distribution and logistics tend to highlight the need to work with an array of solutions to achieve more sustainable transportation with lower fossil emissions. Simply put, these solutions involve electricity, efficiency and an increased use of fossil-free fuel.

Trucks, trains and ships

The forest industry transports timber out of the forest all the way to the customer. The needs and challenges that come up during this long journey are several:

1. From forest to industry: Here, transport relies mainly on timber trucks. To decrease the emissions from this movement of timber, the possibility of carrying more on fewer, bigger trucks is an important part of the solution. A lot of research is currently exploring how trucks could run on electricity and biofuel.

2. From industry to customers: The forest industry mainly uses trains and ships to send the finished products out to customers around the world. The forest industry is dependent on functioning infrastructure, including rail tracks that are well maintained and well planned.

Sweden’s biggest transport buyer

The forest-based industry is Sweden’s biggest transport buyer. The distribution is carried out largely by third-party logistics companies with access to trucks, trains and ships. With so many parties involved, there is a shared responsibility for ensuring that transport is as sustainable as possible. The forest-based industry plays a key role in how we move forward.

  • In the forest-based industry’s Roadmap for Fossil Free Competitiveness, there are several goals to increase the total positive climate effect and contribute to a fossil-free world. By 2030, the sector will, among other things: increase production of biofuels from 1 TWh to 10 TWh, make factories and machines fossil-free and work to ensure expansion of the market for wood products. Link to the
  • The transport sector accounts for 24 per cent of total carbon dioxide emissions: road vehicles make up almost 75 per cent of those emissions – which are increasing. This is despite the expanding use of electricity, with sales of electric cars breaking new records – increasing by 68 per cent in 2018. Emissions from flights and maritime transport are also increasing (Source: IEA, 2019).
  • A political agreement in Sweden stipulates a 70 per cent decrease in carbon dioxide emissions from domestic transport by 2030. By 2045, transport will contribute no net emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere (Source: Trafikverket).