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Rundvik freight terminal begins operations

Early in the morning of June 23, 2021, the first freight train arrived at the new freight terminal in Rundvik, Sweden. The first train contained nine wagons fully loaded with logs for Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget's (SCA's) sawmill in Rundvik.

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Early in the morning of June 23, 2021, the first freight train arrived at the new freight terminal in Rundvik, Sweden. The first train contained nine wagons fully loaded with logs for Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget’s (SCA’s) sawmill in Rundvik (photo courtesy Nordmaling municipality).

​When the Bothnia Line in northern Sweden was built, it was prepared for a freight terminal in Rundvik and since 2009, parts of the track have been completed. On Wednesday, June 23, the first train arrived.

​Strategically sited between Umeå and Örnsköldsvik, the proximity of the new terminal to the E4 motorway, the Port of Rundvik, and to the Bothnia Line means that it is located in the middle of northern Europe’s transport hub when it comes to transport, mainly in the forest and wood products industry. Terminalen i Rundvik AB

The terminal area is approximately six hectares (ha) in size and can be expanded by another four to five ha in the future. The two-track terminal is one km long with an effective loading length of 880 metres, enough to accommodate a full-length block train and operated by Terminalen i Rundvik AB.

Reduce timber freight emissions​

SCA Forest has a modern train system for transporting logs and every year we transport approximately 3 million m3 to various industries, both SCA’s own industries, and external ones. The new terminal in Rundvik creates opportunities to transport more timber by train instead of by truck. Initially, the transports depart from Hoting and Storuman. Later, other transport routes will also be relevant, explained Martin Sundberg, Head of logistics, SCA Forest.

The first train was 300 meters long and contained 1 100 m3 of spruce logs, which corresponds to about 22 trucks. By transporting the timber by train instead of by truck, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are reduced by as much as 5.6 tonnes.

Once block trains operate the route, the load can be up to 2 400 m3 of logs and the corresponding emissions reduction will then be even higher. SCA estimates that by transporting timber by train instead of by truck, it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 600 tonnes annually.

During the summer, we will run six trains, and together we will continue to work within SCA Forest, Rundvik’s sawmill and the freight terminal to find the most efficient way of working. Train transport is cost-effective but is hampered by the need to reload on trucks. By finding a good solution for intermediate transport, the volume will be able to increase in the future, said Martin Sundberg.

Freight terminal that opens logistical opportunities

All types of goods will be handled at the new freight terminal, although the emphasis will mainly be on forest industry and wood products.

The first customer to test the new logistics solution was Rundvik sawmill which is anticipated to be one of the companies that utilize the terminal the most.

Deliveries to the sawmill will mainly consist of spruce logs and it is possible to conduct timber scaling at the terminal.

We transport our raw materials and products by boat and truck today and we are curiously looking forward to having a third alternative to consider. For long transport distances, the train is a good alternative. The main opportunities I see are that we can secure our raw material supply and that we can compete in a cost-effective and sustainable way for raw materials that are at a longer distance away from the sawmill. This means that we become more competitive in a larger geographical area and this in turn gives us opportunities to expand our sawmill production, said Johan Tännfäldt, Sawmill Manager at Rundvik’s sawmill.

​The Rundvik freight terminal, which cost SEK 57 million (≈ EUR 5.6 million) to build, is financed by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Västerbotten Region, and Nordmaling Municipality.

The terminal has a capacity of 20-28 trains per week depending on the type of transport and Nordmaling municipality, which invested SEK 18 million (≈ EUR 1.8 million) in the project, estimates that on an annual basis some 350 000 tonnes of freight will pass through it.

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