New rail shuttle from Middle Sweden to the Port of Gothenburg boosts forest product exports

30 August 2021

A new rail shuttle is about to begin transporting timber products from Malungsfors in Dalarna to Asia via the Port of Gothenburg. The new shuttle will generate substantial carbon savings and logistical benefits, consolidating the port as the principal hub for the export of Swedish timber products.

The driving force behind the newly established rail shuttle is the Fiskarheden sawmill, working in close collaboration with the forwarding company Träfraktkontoret. The first train to depart will carry 32 40-foot containers from the Japanese shipping company ONE and will arrive at the Port of Gothenburg on 30 August.

Previously, timber products were transported by road via the Port of Gävle. The new arrangement via Gothenburg offers both logistical benefits and carbon savings. Transporting freight from the Fiskarheden facility in Malung-Sälen by rail to the Port of Gothenburg and on to the final destination in Japan reduces the carbon footprint of each container from 406 to 207 kilos of carbon dioxide per TEU (20-foot container)*.

Fiskarheden – which produces more than 370,000 cubic metres of sawn timber per year, of which more than 90% is purchased outside Sweden – has invested heavily in the transformation of the rail terminal in Malungsfors to facilitate container handling. They are now all set to go with a modern, highly efficient facility.

“The fact that we can handle and stuff containers here in Malungsfors is a major step forward. It is a long-term investment that will open up new markets for us via the Port of Gothenburg and it is definitely the right path to follow in our ambition to reduce our climate footprint,” said Magnus Larsson, Fiskarheden chief executive.

“It is an impressive and highly focused investment that we are undertaking here in Malungsfors. It is inspiring to see that many companies in the forest industry are choosing the Port of Gothenburg to a greater extent and that the port can contribute to reinforcing the international competitiveness of the forest industry by offering frequent departures, an efficient, climate-smart service, and direct transportation to the continent,” said Richard Mellgren, Senior Business Development Manager at the Gothenburg Port Authority.

High demand for Swedish forest products The forest industry has for a long time been a cornerstone of Swedish basic industry with annual exports totalling 145 billion kronor (2020)**. More than 80% of Swedish forest products are sent abroad (23.4 million tonnes in 2020), making Sweden the fifth-largest forest product exporter in the world. The trend in Sweden has been positive for many years and particularly so in recent times with exports rising by 6% since 2018.***


Image by Port of Gothenburg

The use of wood in a variety of sectors, including the construction industry, is growing as a more climate-smart alternative to steel and concrete. New areas of use are emerging with forest products replacing plastic and other non-degradable materials in the manufacturing of clothing, chemicals, hygiene products, and technical components.

According to Magnus Larsson, a whole series of factors are coming together to make Swedish forest products particularly attractive on the world market.

“The trademark of Swedish forest products is quality. Slow-growing trees produce high-quality raw material with a good structure, complemented by the first-rate delivery assurance offered by Swedish forest product companies.”

* According to calculations from IVL, Swedish Environmental Institute.
** Source: Swedish Forest Industries Federation.
*** Source: Statistics Sweden.



Port of Gothenburg
The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port in the Nordic region. 30 per cent of Swedish foreign trade passes through the Port of Gothenburg as well as half of all container traffic.

The Port of Gothenburg is the only port in Sweden with the capacity to receive the world's largest container vessels and has the broadest range of shipping routes within and outside Europe.

The 25 rail shuttles that depart each day mean that companies throughout Sweden and Norway have a direct, environmentally smart link to the largest port in the Nordic region. The Port of Gothenburg has terminals for oil, cars, ro-ro, containers and passengers.

Port of Gothenburg press release