Collaboration on solid ground
The type of constellation that WALLENIUS SOL represents is a natural further development in shipping, according to Johan Woxenius, professor at the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law. Demands on new technology and improved economy result in collaborations and long contracts.
THE SHIPPING COMPANY WALLENIUS SOL and its agreements with several suppliers constitutes a new chapter in the history of shipping on the Baltic sea. This forms a solid foundation, according to Johan Woxenius, professor of Maritime Transport Management and Logistics at Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law.
“The previous collaboration between Stora Enso and SOL is well established and based on good relations. It would have felt more uncertain if it had been a completely new player who attempted to establish themselves,” says Johan Woxenius.
He believes the fact that the forestry industry is now coordinating its logistics in this way is a natural stage of development, pointing out:
“In earlier years forestry companies did not have many opportunities to compete on product price. Instead, they had to distinguish themselves from their competitors with the help of logistics solutions.”
Another factor that may have had an effect, according to Johan Woxenius, is the Competition Act. Forestry is a very concentrated industry, and there may have been restrictions to how close companies actually could collaborate.
“However, it is expensive to have your own transport systems, and new demands on for example sustainability require long time horizons and major investments in new technology. Collaboration and writing long contracts open the door for new investments while simultaneously pressing costs and raising the level of service,” says Johan Woxenius.
Long contracts with purchasers and sellers are common within shipping. This usually results in a win-win situation for both parties, not least by making it easier to predict the actual costs.
“For logisticians, long contracts with large flows are the dream. Partly by being able to lower unit prices, but also by reducing the risks,” concludes Johan Woxenius. ■