Article | Sep 12, 2017

Running a transport company is more than just a job

Kati Huhtala manages a family company with her sights set firmly on the future.

Kati Huhtala knows the UPM Seikku sawmill well. The sawmill, located by the Kokemäenjoki river near the centre of Pori, is a weekly destination for Huhtala's wood chip truck.

Kati is a second-generation transport entrepreneur.

“Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone – just like a 9-to-5 job is not for others.” Kati Huhtala’s parents founded the Kuljetusliike Kalevi Huhtala transport company in 1982. When Kati was little, her father was often on the road and her mother took care of the company’s paperwork in the evenings.

“The model I learned in those days from my parents about working was that when there is work to do, you do it, no matter what the clock or the calendar says.”

Wood chip transportation with HCT truck

Her father Kalevi Huhtala has been a trailblazer in developing new operating models, such as the use of High Capacity Transport (HCT) trucks. Huhtala’s 34-metre articulated truck for wood chip transportation was designed in cooperation with UPM.

“It is great to be at the forefront of development. I would like to hear people saying in the future that it must have been the Huhtala company that introduced HCT trucks to wood chip transportation in Finland. UPM has been really actively involved in these reforms,” Kati says.

Drivers have given positive feedback on the HCT trucks. According to them, the larger trucks have improved drivability and stability in comparison to traditional articulated trucks.

“Drivers line up to drive an HCT truck,” says Kati, who has also participated in the test drives herself. The HCT trucks place less strain on the roads and the large transport volumes help reduce traffic.

“I can definitely see HCT trucks becoming common in the transport industry in the near future. The forest owner never sees the wood chip truck. We want to do our part to ensure that the logistics from the forest to the sawmill is equally smooth at this end of the process and at the harvesting sites.”

Huhtala’s articulated truck transports sawmill chips from Pori to the UPM Rauma paper mill, which uses the chips to produce energy.

Kati Huhtala’s tips for a new transport entrepreneur

1. Know yourself and your industry.

You have to be honest with yourself, know what you want and what your strengths are. As the old saying goes, you reap what you sow.

2. Remember that there is always more than one solution to problems.

You always have a choice. Do not give up when problems arise. Focus on the solution.

3. Remember the string vest.

Say what? Sometimes your nerves resemble a string vest. And after all, it does not hurt to own one.

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