“In Finland, 80% of the paper manufactured in UPM mills destined to be transported by ship is transported to the harbour by rail. We use rail transport whenever the infrastructure allows, and transport can be completed cost-effectively due to the number and volume of rail traffic on the route,” explains Reijo Renwall, who is responsible for UPM distribution logistics.
The environmental impact caused by rail transport is significantly lower than that of road transport, as over 60% of the required tractive effort is generated using electric power.
Road transport is used to load the paper into shipping containers at the mill. Approximately a fourth of the containerised paper is transported to harbour using either high capacity transport vehicles (HCTs) or other heavy transport equipment currently allowed by law.
“Optimally, the volumes are delivered into the harbour by rail, which minimises the impact on the environment and road network,” he concludes.
High capacity transport vehicles decrease mileage and emissions
UPM is participating in a research project conducted by Metsäteho, which aims to determine how well-suited HCTs are for road deliveries in Finland.
“An HCT can be easily recognised on the road due to its length, as it is longer than conventional trucks,” says Janne Kukkura, UPM Development Specialist.
In Finland, an HCT is an articulated vehicle that is longer than 25.25 metres or weighs more than 76 metric tonnes. For example, the chips from UPM Seikku sawmill in Pori are transported to Rauma paper mill using a 34-metre articulated vehicle weighing up to 100 metric tonnes, the loose volume of which is approximately 210 m3.
Thanks to a higher maximum payload, there is a reduction in both the number of transport vehicles and mileage, which in turn reduces exhaust emissions and the carbon footprint. The benefits of using an HTC include the transportation of empty shipping containers which sometimes have to be transported by road.
“An HTC is about one passenger car longer than a standard articulated vehicle and can be loaded with two sea containers, whereas two standard trucks would normally be needed for the same task. In these trial transports, the carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by approximately 35% relative to maximum payload,” Kukkura explains.
The fuel consumption of the trucks has also been examined in the study conducted by Metsäteho, as it directly reveals the carbon footprint resulting from the transport method. “As recently as five years ago, the maximum weight of heavy goods vehicles was 60 metric tonnes. With HCTs, the fuel consumption has decreased by approximately 30%, relative to transported payload,” he adds.
UPM uses HCT vehicles mainly for transportation between sites. UPM sites require approximately 1,000 truckloads of wood every day to keep operations running. Thanks to efficient planning, during the best months the vehicles are driven without a load for only a few kilometres.
“Because the payload is larger, the transportation of timber on small roads is also more effective. In addition to the logs, the tree tops used for pulpwood can also be loaded onto the vehicle. This decreases the number of trips required and the trucks can be loaded to full capacity. The risk of road traffic accidents and environmental impact also decrease.”
Lighter transportation equipment equals less fuel and a smaller carbon footprint
The structure and weight of vehicles have a significant effect on fuel consumption and as a result, on the carbon footprint related to transportation. UPM Wisa-BondedFloor is a solution which allows a lighter trailer design.
A semitrailer measuring 13.6 metres weighs approximately five to seven metric tons when it is empty. The empty weight of a trailer is a fixed expense in transportation. The floor of the semitrailer is often made from birch plywood and weighs around 500 kilos alone.
“UPM has developed the Wisa-BondedFloor Solution, where the floor of the trailer is bonded to the trailer chassis, eliminating the need for screws. In this way, the plywood floor becomes a trailer chassis component, adding to its structural strength,” explains Juha Patovirta, UPM Plywood Portfolio Manager.
“In this solution, the floor becomes part of the structural frame, which can then be completely redesigned. As a result, it is now possible to make the trailers 250 to 600 kilos lighter than before.”
“A lower empty weight also leads to smaller fuel bills and reduced CO2 emissions. It has been estimated that WISA-BondedFloor trailer’s lifetime CO2 emissions are approximately 13 metric tonnes lower than those of a conventional trailer. The maximum payload of the vehicle increases as well,” Patovirta adds.
Transport equipment powered by renewable diesel
Increasing the use of low-emission renewable fuels, such as renewable diesel in heavy goods traffic, is an effective method already in use for decreasing emissions on both a short and a long-term basis.
UPM BioVerno produced by UPM is a wood-based renewable fuel that reduces both CO2 emissions and tailpipe emissions, such as nitrogen oxides and fine particles, which harm the local environment. During its life cycle, UPM BioVerno has up to 80% lower CO2 emissions compared to fossil diesel.
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