5 insights from Logistikdag Norr
During this year’s Logistics Day, arranged by Norrbotten Chamber of Commerce, discussions revolved around sustainable infrastructure and how collaboration can advance the ongoing social revolution in northern Sweden. Here Ragnar Johansson, who was one of the speakers, shares five insights with us.
1. Social development in northern Sweden
‘More than SEK 1,070 billion – huge investments are under way in Sweden’s seven northernmost regions right now. The enormous optimism and faith in the future is unmistakable. At the same time, there are no illusions about what this transition will involve. There’s a great deal to be done. It will require housing, schools and above all people who are willing to move there. These things will not happen by themselves, and it’s essential that politicians, public authorities and industry work together.’
2. Maritime shipping’s important role
‘We must urgently expand infrastructure if we are to meet an increasing demand for transport to and from the north of Sweden. Naturally, there is much talk about developing rail transport, and there is frequent mention of the North Bothnia Line and Ore Railway, but not only are the lead times very long, rail transport will not be able to cope with the large volumes. Instead, shipping will play the crucial role. From the moment a transport requirement is identified, maritime shipping can provide capacity in a few short months, while it would take 10 to 30 years for the railways. Many of the northernmost ports are now investing heavily in order to handle larger volumes, but it will take ships capable of making headway despite harsh ice conditions if the investments are to pay off. Which makes this the right moment to highlight just how important it is for Sweden to get new icebreakers.’
3. Permit applications
‘The green transition is urgent, and things are moving fast as players like H2 Green Steel and Hybrit are setting up. Everyone has to keep up. Companies must recognize that they need to do their bit and deliver what the authorities require if the necessary permits are to be granted. Responsibility resides equally with the party seeking a permit and the issuer.’
4. Will there be enough electricity?
‘Activities in these major projects are based largely on the availability of fossil-free energy; the question is whether there will be enough electricity for the whole country. Here in the south of Sweden we have to take responsibility for our own electricity supply and stop relying on the surplus from the north, as in a few years that electricity will be consumed up there. Surprisingly little was said on the subject during Logistics Day, but perhaps that’s because in the South we’re a little more anxious than our northern countrymen. Especially since Sweden’s treasure chest of natural resources is located in the north.’
5. WALLENIUS SOL is ready
‘Next year, WALLENIUS SOL’s new ice-rated multi-fuel RoRo vessels will enter service. They’ll be a perfect fit for the advances taking place in northern Sweden over the next few years. We’ll have the greenest ships anyone can build today, and our timing is absolutely perfect. WALLENIUS SOL seeks to be part of a logistics solution that meets the needs of industry. We can operate ships under the special conditions in the Gulf of Bothnia, we know the market and we’re ready right now for the green transition.’