Current issue: 53(4)
Central Association of Finnish Forest Industries decided in 1953 to begin collecting annual statistics of timber transportation of its members. The survey of members covers almost 97% of the timber transportations of the member companies, which have production over 1,000 cu ft. In all 79 companies answered the survey. Their total timber transportation was 166,4 million cu ft in 1952.
The long-distance transportation of saw logs by horse transport directly to the mill or other such location was 1,297 cu ft, by truck transport 42,644 cu ft, by rail transport 6,707 cu ft, and by water transport 115,789 cu ft. The average transportation distance was for horse transport 2.4 km, truck transport 27 km, rail transport 224 km and water transport 209 km.
The Acta Forestalia Fennica issue 61 was published in honour of professor Eino Saari’s 60th birthday.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The costs of floating have increased by about 20-fold after the Second World War in Finland, which has raised concerns in the forest sector. At the same time, the costs of road transport have increased by 16% and costs of rail transport by 15%. Floating has been replaced mainly by road transport in transport of roundwood, especially near the factories. This development is likely to continue as new roads are built and the truck fleet develops.
In spite of the changes in timber transportation, floating was still the most common way of transporting roundwood in 1952: 69% of saw logs, 53% of veneer timber, 42% of domestic pulp wood, 14% of exported pulp wood and mining timber and 14% of firewood was transported by a water route. There are several ways to improve the efficiency of floating and decrease its costs. This can be achieved in two ways. First, using modern technology, such as tugboats, bundlers and other equipment, and second, improving the operation and co-operation between different actors.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The aim of the study was to determine how timber truck transport business succeeds in the competition within its sector, and the effect it has on profitability structure of the sector. Furthermore, strategic groups were looked at in depth, as well as the competitive strategies of the most successful companies and groups of companies. The theoretical competitive strategy was operationalized.
A total of 53 timber truck transport entrepreneurs were interviewed. The average age of the entrepreneurs was 51 years. Of the businesses, 35% were partnership companies, 6% open companies, and 59% self-employed. The business owned an average 1.5 trucks, and at the time of interviewing their average age was four years. Nearly nine out of ten entrepreneurs had no schooling for the line of business, and four out of five had no short-term training. The attitude of the timber truckers toward their activities was more like that of self-employed persons than that of entrepreneurs. A total of 61.5% of them reporter that they carried on entrepreneurship simply to assure themselves a job.
The operational profitability of the sector has been good in the years 1984 to 1990, and the business profitability fairly good. The median equity ratio in the sector has remained at about 20% and the ratio of debts to turnover about 40%. The sector has been more profitable than forest machine contracting primarily due to the barriers to entry into the sector.
Cluster analysis, using Ward’s method, was used for seeking out strategic groups. The lengths of the customer relationships proved a significant barrier to mobility. The most successful business used the competitive strategy of cost weighted focussing. This was done through optimization of the capacity utilization rate and through choice of correct customers. The strategic position for successful business was judged to be good in the future. Success in the future will require above all activeness and innovation ability.
The PDF includes a summary in English.