A milestone in export logistics

​Efficient, reliable logistics will be a key component in the operations of the new Metsä Fibre bioproduct mill, with efficient raw wood deliveries to the mill and dependable pulp deliveries to the customer.

6/2017 TEXT: TIMO NYKÄNEN, PHOTOS: HELSINGIN SATAMA OY, VR GROUP, JANNE MIKKILÄ AND METSÄ GROUP

​Even at the planning stage, it was already obvious that a bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Central Finland, would greatly expand traffic flows in the region. Handling and transporting deliveries of raw wood to the mill and moving its annual output of up to 1.3 million tonnes of pulp would require logistical arrangements on an unprecedented scale. On an average day, the mill would receive 240 raw wood trucks and 70 railcars, with some 40 outgoing railcars of pulp departing for Vuosaari port in Helsinki.

The 800,000 tonne share of annual capacity destined for export will be transported by rail from Äänekoski to Helsinki, over 300 kilometres away. Three trains have been reserved for a 24/7 operation: as one is en route between the mill and the harbour, another will be loading in Äänekoski and the third will be unloading in Vuosaari.

VR Transpoint, pulp transportation

“With our logistics service providers, we have designed a logistics concept that stresses reliable delivery. Metsä Fibre has established a dedicated terminal in Vuosaari to serve as a core element in this concept, as there will be no export pulp warehousing in Äänekoski. The pulp will be transported directly from production to port,” explains Jari Voutilainen, who is SVP, Logistics at Metsä Group.

Voutilainen reports that one reason for choosing Vuosaari as the company’s export port was that it is easily accessible by both land and sea.

Vuosaari harbour

“Äänekoski is right in the middle of Finland, with a choice of multiple seaport options, but Vuosaari emerged as the optimal choice after a careful review. This port is a hub for Finland’s foreign trade, and substantial investments have recently been made in its infrastructure. We also had prior experience of using Vuosaari as a port for other Metsä Group exports.”

A UNIQUE AUTOMATED PULP DISTRIBUTION CENTRE

One entirely innovative element of pulp logistics, even by global standards, will be an automated distribution centre at the bioproduct mill, providing buffer storage for the entire pulp output of the mill as it is sorted by product type and customer. Besides output destined for Vuosaari, some pulp will be carried by road and rail directly to domestic customers and some will be refined locally.

“The automated distribution centre will be an entirely innovative element of pulp logistics.”


The distribution centre will include a high bay warehouse with two automated stacking cranes and two automatic overhead cranes for loading railcars. These cranes will feature specially customised loaders. It will take approximately six hours to load a train carrying some 1,400 tonnes of pulp.

“The transport chain will be fully automated in normal operation, so there will be no need for manual handling of pulp units until they arrive in Vuosaari. RFID tags will also help to enhance traceability and security in the manufacturing and shipping process,” explains bioproduct mill project development manager Kristian Isaksson.

INCREASING CAPACITY

To ensure smooth and secure management of the rising volume of traffic generated by the bioproduct mill, some significant measures are under way to improve the road and rail infrastructure that serves the Äänekoski region. These infrastructure projects are a result of close co-operation between Metsä Group and national and local authorities.

The first 47-kilometre rail track section between the mill and the port is being electrified and structurally modernised to enable environmentally friendly electric locomotives to operate over the entire route. Upgrading of the local road infrastructure, including Highway 4, is also under way to serve the needs of increased heavy goods vehicle traffic.

Pulp shipping

“A nearly threefold increase in output from the bioproduct mill compared to the present mill in Äänekoski also means a huge increase in raw wood deliveries,” Isaksson explains.

The bioproduct mill will use some 6.5 million cubic metres of wood annually, of which approximately three-quarters will be delivered by truck and the remainder by rail.

TESTS UNDER WAY at the bioproduct mill construction site

The construction project and equipment installations have progressed on schedule for the bioproduct mill, which is scheduled to begin operating in the third quarter of 2017. A commissioning stage of testing and trial operation began in February, with various process modules tested under normal mill operating conditions. The first tests of the high bay warehouse began in March.

A new drying machine will start processing pulp in June, with the output then transferred to the high bay warehouse for the first time. Rail transport will only commence after the mill has started operating. Pulp will be transported by road until this time, as most of the output from the current mill goes to destinations in Finland,” Isaksson explains.

“The new concept will deliver some synergy benefits because VR, the national railway company, will be responsible for both rail transport and port operations. This was the best way to ensure the quality and reliability of deliveries from the bioproduct mill.”

COMPREHENSIVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR VR GROUP

The chosen logistics partner of the Äänekoski bioproduct mill is VR Transpoint, which will assume responsibility for an innovative concept that smoothly combines functions at the mill, rail transport and port operations. Martti Koskinen, Senior Vice President at VR Transpoint, stresses that the company was involved in planning the solution from the very beginning:

“This is a case of genuine collaboration and strategic partnership. It is more common for a mill and its rail link to be designed separately, with inefficient logistics when the deliveries finally begin at some later date. In this case, the entire concept was designed to be right first time, in accordance with production and with the customer’s requirements.”

Martti Koskinen, SVP, Logistics, VR Group Ltd

Martti Koskinen, SVP, Logistics, VR Group Ltd

VR Transpoint has made substantial investments in new rolling stock customised for pulp deliveries. It will be pulled by energy-efficient Vectron electric locomotives delivered by Siemens. These locomotives also have two auxiliary diesel engines for use in shunting yards, loading areas and short sections of non-electrified track. They also have a radio control feature to facilitate work done in shunting yards.

“The wagon design accommodates the requirements of the automated distribution centre and loading operation in Äänekoski. These wagons are already in service at the Joutseno mill, and the capabilities of Vectron locomotives have also been tested since the beginning of last year,” Koskinen says.

He explains that the Vuosaari port has an exceptionally long 400-metre track that enables unloading of an entire stationary train. This is an important consideration when transport schedules are tight. Some of the pulp will be stored in the Metsä Fibre terminal for break bulk shipments, and some will be loaded directly into containers.

“This is also an important deal for us because of the large volumes involved. It will make Vuosaari a significant port for rail transport,” Koskinen adds.

Related articles

  • Metsä Fibre Mill Managers presented, Rauma mill

    / Solutions

    A strong quartet

    ​We asked all of Metsä Fibre’s Mill Managers to describe the areas of expertise of their units and their own personal strengths.

    Read More
  • Kaskinen mill's rebranded BCTMP pulp portfolio launched

    / Solutions

    Two new BCTMP brands with improved properties

    ​Metsä Board’s rebranded High Yield Pulp portfolio was officially launched at the start of 2018 through Metsä Fibre’s global sales network. The project was based on extensive customer discussions and the chance to simplify the pulp offering into two well-distinguished products. Botnia High Yield BULK offers high bulk and brightness to mainly printing and writing paper grades. Botnia High Yield TENSILE provides excellent tensile strength and brightness for tissue and speciality papers.

    Read More
  • Sustainable wood supply as cornerstone of circular economy

    / Sustainability

    An efficient circular economy needs a sustainable supply chain

    ​Delivering an increasingly sustainable supply chain represents a fundamental cornerstone of Metsä Group’s forestry operations. Enhancing efficiencies, as well as implementing stricter environmental and ecological measures in sustainable forest management, have a considerable impact on how the group adds to the circular economy.

    Read More
  • Kate Stone

    / Solutions

    Making paper magical

    ​Any printed item can be given a digital soul by adding touch, connectivity and data, says Dr Kate Stone.

    Read More
  • FibreOnline

    Issue 1/2018/ Solutions

    Building 24/7 customer service – together

    ​Based on customer feedback and a user research project, Metsä Fibre has completely revamped their online services. Today, these services have become a holistic tool where customers can find everything they need and even download certifications to pass on to their customers. It’s all in one place – online – easily accessed 24/7 at the push of a button.  

    Read More
  • Paptic

    Issue 1/2018/ Partners

    Replacing plastics

    ​Paptic is a biobased, recyclable and renewable next generation packaging material made of sustainable wood fibre. Developed by a Finnish start-up company of the same name, Paptic is suitable for uses where plastic films have previously been the only alternative.

    Read More
  • Kemi mill

    Issue 1/2018/

    Prefeasibility study launched on renewal of Kemi pulp mill

    ​Metsä Fibre has launched a prefeasibility study on the renewal of its pulp mill in Kemi, with the option of either replacing the current mill or extending its life cycle.

    Read More
  • mill

    Issue 1/2018/ Solutions

    RFID pulp delivery tracking

    ​RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an identification technology that enables efficient and reliable real time tracking of pulp deliveries. Every pulp unit leaving a Metsä Fibre mill automatically includes RFID tags that help to ensure deliveries and minimise consignment errors.

    Read More
  • employee

    Issue 1/2018/

    Appointments at Metsä Fibre's mills

    ​New appointments at Metsä Fibre's mills announced.

    Read More
  • Äänekoski

    Issue 1/2018/

    Metsä Spring plans textile fibre production

    ​Metsä Group has established a new innovation company, Metsä Spring Ltd.

    Read More
  • Ismo Nousiainen

    Issue 1/2018/ Voice

    Pursuing excellence

    ​The business environment continually changes, and company operations must accordingly evolve to keep pace. There is always room to improve, and always an imperative to do so. Regeneration and continual improvement are no longer a choice, but a necessity and a condition for surviving in the modern era. 

    Read More
  • Kate Stone

    Issue 1/2018/ Voice

    Print is dead, long live print

    ​Print is the most pervasive human interface: we write on it, read it, wear it, sit on it and even eat from it!

    Read More
  • campfire

    Issue 1/2018/ Sustainability

    On a journey of sustainability

    Common sustainability goals bring industry operators together for a memorable event.

    Read More
  • Song

    Issue 1/2018/ Markets

    Eastern horizons

    ​Introducing Wangqiu Song – Metsä Group’s recently recruited SVP, Asia and China – and his unique perspectives on both the Finnish and Asian pulp businesses. 

    Read More
  • Li Na

    Issue 1/2018/ Partners

    Shared values strengthen cooperation

    ​Li Na, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Sun Paper company, says that Metsä Fibre’s strong brand reputation, core values and product quality form the basis of a solid partnership.

    Read More
  • Äänekoski

    / Sustainability

    Key Customer Event showcases sustainable forest management

    ​Running through May 23-25, Metsä Fibre organised a Key Customer Event in and around Äänekoski, the site of its new bioproduct mill, inviting international clients to Central Finland.

    Read More
  • technology

    Issue 1/2018/ Voice

    A digital revolution

    ​Technological trends arising from digitalisation, such as IoT, artificial intelligence and data analytics, are having a major impact on society, the world of work and the business operations of Metsä Fibre.

    Read More
  • Issue 1/2018/ Sustainability

    New combination certificate covers all Metsä Fibre operations

    ​Metsä Fibre’s aim of continuously improving its operations is supported by certified control and management systems, related to quality, the environment, energy efficiency and safety. The systems enable, for example, tracking the origin of the wood raw material and following the logistics chain.

    Read More
  • old Äänekoski mill

    Issue 2/2017/ Sustainability

    Recycling the old Äänekoski mill

    ​The start of operations at the new Metsä Fibre bioproduct mill in Äänekoski has meant shutting down the old pulp mill, and its demolition is currently under way. This work began in June by dismantling the old wastewater treatment plant.

    Read More
  • Woman using a tablet

    Issue 2/2017/

    Customer satisfaction high at Metsä Fibre

    The annual Metsä Fibre customer satisfaction survey was completed again this summer with interviews of pulp customers in various market areas. The overall customer satisfaction rating remained almost unchanged at 8.61 on a scale from 4 to 10.

    Read More
  • Bioproduct mill

    Issue 2/2017/ Sustainability

    World-class bioproduct mill

    ​Metsä Fibre’s next-generation bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland, is the largest wood processing plant in the Northern Hemisphere, which brings prosperity to the whole of Finland. The new mill is called a bioproduct mill since it increases the product portfolio with new bioproducts, generates excess bioenergy, and operates without any fossil fuels. The pulp production capacity of the mill is 1.3 million tonnes of pulp a year.

    Read More
  • Inauguration

    Issue 2/2017/

    Bioproduct mill inaugurated

    ​Metsä Fibre’s next-generation bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland, was inaugurated by the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö on 18 October 2017. Hosted by President and CEO of Metsä Group Kari Jordan, guests at the event included national policy-makers, representatives from the City of Äänekoski and various partners in cooperation related to the bioproduct mill project.

    Read More
  • SkinCare 2.0

    Issue 2/2017/ Partners

    Innovative products from cellulose fibre: GreenDoer

    ​Based in China, Metsä Fibre’s partner company GreenDoer is a leading supplier of next-generation sustainable packaging solutions to the consumer industry. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, the company has developed innovative 3D shaping technology for producing molded fibre products.

    Read More
  • Forest

    Issue 2/2017/ Markets

    Europe's forest nation

    ​Charting the past, present and future of Finland’s uniquely productive relationship with the forest. From Metsä Fibre's perspective, the sustainable and well-organised forest management in Finland and the growing demand from Asia make the future look bright.

    Read More

Most popular articles

  • Markku Nikkilä

    Issue 2/2017/ Voice

    Sustainable growth from biocomposites

    The abundant annually regenerating forests of Finland place the country in pole position for promoting a bioeconomy based on the sustainable use of renewable natural resources. One example of a solution that reduces the need for fossil oil and polymers is an innovative biocomposite material developed by the Finnish companies Aqvacomp Oy and Elastopoli Ltd.

    Read More
  • confectionary packaging

    Issue 2/2017/ Partners

    Perspectives on product safety

    ​Experts on product safety from throughout Metsä Group – as well as customer organisation CP Kelco – share their views on this crucial area.

    Read More
  • Ahlstrom Munksjo

    Issue 2/2017/ Partners

    The joy of segmentation

    What’s at the heart of a hundred-year success story? Two successful companies, Metsä Group and Ahlstrom-Munksjö, with deep roots and an intense passion for customer satisfaction.

    Read More
  • Winter forest

    Issue 2/2017/ Sustainability

    Boosting the bioeconomy

    CEPI Director General Sylvain Lhôte says that the forest industry has an unbeatable sustainability story to tell, but should be better in communicating its strengths.

    Read More
  • SkinCare 2.0

    Issue 2/2017/ Partners

    Innovative products from cellulose fibre: GreenDoer

    ​Based in China, Metsä Fibre’s partner company GreenDoer is a leading supplier of next-generation sustainable packaging solutions to the consumer industry. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, the company has developed innovative 3D shaping technology for producing molded fibre products.

    Read More
  • Christmas star

    /

    Something old, something new

    ​From 1996, it has been a tradition to have a Christmas star shining over our Äänekoski mill. Set up on top of the digester, the star used to be a landmark of the old mill, wishing Merry Christmas while bringing light to the mill area.

    Read More
  • Forest

    Issue 2/2017/ Markets

    Europe's forest nation

    ​Charting the past, present and future of Finland’s uniquely productive relationship with the forest. From Metsä Fibre's perspective, the sustainable and well-organised forest management in Finland and the growing demand from Asia make the future look bright.

    Read More
  • Inauguration

    Issue 2/2017/

    Bioproduct mill inaugurated

    ​Metsä Fibre’s next-generation bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland, was inaugurated by the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö on 18 October 2017. Hosted by President and CEO of Metsä Group Kari Jordan, guests at the event included national policy-makers, representatives from the City of Äänekoski and various partners in cooperation related to the bioproduct mill project.

    Read More
  • Bioproduct mill

    Issue 2/2017/ Sustainability

    World-class bioproduct mill

    ​Metsä Fibre’s next-generation bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland, is the largest wood processing plant in the Northern Hemisphere, which brings prosperity to the whole of Finland. The new mill is called a bioproduct mill since it increases the product portfolio with new bioproducts, generates excess bioenergy, and operates without any fossil fuels. The pulp production capacity of the mill is 1.3 million tonnes of pulp a year.

    Read More
  • old Äänekoski mill

    Issue 2/2017/ Sustainability

    Recycling the old Äänekoski mill

    ​The start of operations at the new Metsä Fibre bioproduct mill in Äänekoski has meant shutting down the old pulp mill, and its demolition is currently under way. This work began in June by dismantling the old wastewater treatment plant.

    Read More
  • Woman using a tablet

    Issue 2/2017/

    Customer satisfaction high at Metsä Fibre

    The annual Metsä Fibre customer satisfaction survey was completed again this summer with interviews of pulp customers in various market areas. The overall customer satisfaction rating remained almost unchanged at 8.61 on a scale from 4 to 10.

    Read More
  • Issue 1/2018/ Sustainability

    New combination certificate covers all Metsä Fibre operations

    ​Metsä Fibre’s aim of continuously improving its operations is supported by certified control and management systems, related to quality, the environment, energy efficiency and safety. The systems enable, for example, tracking the origin of the wood raw material and following the logistics chain.

    Read More
  • Paptic

    Issue 1/2018/ Partners

    Replacing plastics

    ​Paptic is a biobased, recyclable and renewable next generation packaging material made of sustainable wood fibre. Developed by a Finnish start-up company of the same name, Paptic is suitable for uses where plastic films have previously been the only alternative.

    Read More
  • FibreOnline

    Issue 1/2018/ Solutions

    Building 24/7 customer service – together

    ​Based on customer feedback and a user research project, Metsä Fibre has completely revamped their online services. Today, these services have become a holistic tool where customers can find everything they need and even download certifications to pass on to their customers. It’s all in one place – online – easily accessed 24/7 at the push of a button.  

    Read More
  • Song

    Issue 1/2018/ Markets

    Eastern horizons

    ​Introducing Wangqiu Song – Metsä Group’s recently recruited SVP, Asia and China – and his unique perspectives on both the Finnish and Asian pulp businesses. 

    Read More
  • Ismo Nousiainen

    Issue 1/2018/ Voice

    Pursuing excellence

    ​The business environment continually changes, and company operations must accordingly evolve to keep pace. There is always room to improve, and always an imperative to do so. Regeneration and continual improvement are no longer a choice, but a necessity and a condition for surviving in the modern era. 

    Read More
  • mill

    Issue 1/2018/ Solutions

    RFID pulp delivery tracking

    ​RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an identification technology that enables efficient and reliable real time tracking of pulp deliveries. Every pulp unit leaving a Metsä Fibre mill automatically includes RFID tags that help to ensure deliveries and minimise consignment errors.

    Read More
  • technology

    Issue 1/2018/ Voice

    A digital revolution

    ​Technological trends arising from digitalisation, such as IoT, artificial intelligence and data analytics, are having a major impact on society, the world of work and the business operations of Metsä Fibre.

    Read More
  • campfire

    Issue 1/2018/ Sustainability

    On a journey of sustainability

    Common sustainability goals bring industry operators together for a memorable event.

    Read More
  • Äänekoski

    / Sustainability

    Key Customer Event showcases sustainable forest management

    ​Running through May 23-25, Metsä Fibre organised a Key Customer Event in and around Äänekoski, the site of its new bioproduct mill, inviting international clients to Central Finland.

    Read More
  • Kate Stone

    Issue 1/2018/ Voice

    Print is dead, long live print

    ​Print is the most pervasive human interface: we write on it, read it, wear it, sit on it and even eat from it!

    Read More
  • Li Na

    Issue 1/2018/ Partners

    Shared values strengthen cooperation

    ​Li Na, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Sun Paper company, says that Metsä Fibre’s strong brand reputation, core values and product quality form the basis of a solid partnership.

    Read More
  • Äänekoski

    Issue 1/2018/

    Metsä Spring plans textile fibre production

    ​Metsä Group has established a new innovation company, Metsä Spring Ltd.

    Read More
  • employee

    Issue 1/2018/

    Appointments at Metsä Fibre's mills

    ​New appointments at Metsä Fibre's mills announced.

    Read More
  • Kemi mill

    Issue 1/2018/

    Prefeasibility study launched on renewal of Kemi pulp mill

    ​Metsä Fibre has launched a prefeasibility study on the renewal of its pulp mill in Kemi, with the option of either replacing the current mill or extending its life cycle.

    Read More
  • Kate Stone

    / Solutions

    Making paper magical

    ​Any printed item can be given a digital soul by adding touch, connectivity and data, says Dr Kate Stone.

    Read More
  • Sustainable wood supply as cornerstone of circular economy

    / Sustainability

    An efficient circular economy needs a sustainable supply chain

    ​Delivering an increasingly sustainable supply chain represents a fundamental cornerstone of Metsä Group’s forestry operations. Enhancing efficiencies, as well as implementing stricter environmental and ecological measures in sustainable forest management, have a considerable impact on how the group adds to the circular economy.

    Read More
  • Kaskinen mill's rebranded BCTMP pulp portfolio launched

    / Solutions

    Two new BCTMP brands with improved properties

    ​Metsä Board’s rebranded High Yield Pulp portfolio was officially launched at the start of 2018 through Metsä Fibre’s global sales network. The project was based on extensive customer discussions and the chance to simplify the pulp offering into two well-distinguished products. Botnia High Yield BULK offers high bulk and brightness to mainly printing and writing paper grades. Botnia High Yield TENSILE provides excellent tensile strength and brightness for tissue and speciality papers.

    Read More
  • Metsä Fibre Mill Managers presented, Rauma mill

    / Solutions

    A strong quartet

    ​We asked all of Metsä Fibre’s Mill Managers to describe the areas of expertise of their units and their own personal strengths.

    Read More