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If needed Steveco can arrange door to door service

Unifeeder’s and Steveco’s flexible collaboration

Mia Brunila and Ville Huovila in the spotlight

S T E V E C O ’ S




BUSY KOUVOLA LAND TRAFFIC TERMINAL 100 truckloads and 10 rail wagons towards eastern board every week. PAGE 4



READY FOR GROWTH Kouvola region is waiting for more container traffic and Steveco is ready to move forward.

8 EXPERIENCED SEA FREIGHT PROVIDER Steveco is dedicated to find most suitable solution for customers.

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DOOR-TO-DOOR WITHIN EUROPE Shortsea transportation has multiple benefits.

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14 Inside Steveco: A new Sales Director and Logistics Manager join the team




AS WINTER FADES and the beauty of a new spring unfolds, we enjoy the wonder of this season that arches winter and summer. I write, however, not about the new spring, but about the winter we have just come through and what we have learned from it. Everywhere along the Finnish coast, we had a lot of snow this past winter. What made the situation exceptionally challenging was that the temperature fluctuated above and below freezing for a long period of time. Equipment got stuck, traffic got stuck, the corners of containers were filled with frozen snow preventing twist locks from attaching, and the quays became so uneven that the last moving machines at times needed to advance at walking speed to prevent damage. When we look back on the winter maintenance at all our ports plus extra weather-induced problems, they add up to not just 70 centimetres of snow, but a cost of at least a million euro. Yes, we have always told the world how we Finnish operators have no problem with winters and that we are always prepared to handle winter conditions. But this year was difficult and it hit us hard. Well, no-one got hurt, and all our terminals worked smoothly without interruptions, although at times operations were slower than normal. This past winter was filled with exceptional circumstances that elsewhere in the world would probably

Publisher: Steveco Oy, Kirkkokatu 1, P.O. Box 44, 48101 Kotka tel. +358 5 23231 Editor-in-chief: Tapio Mattila Editorial board: Mia Brunila, Markus Myllylä, Tomi Rautio, Vesa-Heikki Renlund Repress: Aste Helsinki Oy Printing house: Painokotka Oy Paper: MultiArt Silk Edition: 500 ISSN 1456-212X Cover image: Johannes Wiehn Address change: or

have meant closing ports down. Yet, surrender is not an option for us. We learned a lot – maintenance practices and equipment have now been updated to face future winters. There is no way we can avoid winter and its accompanying problems for port operations, but at least we are now better prepared. I want to thank all our customers and partners for your patience and understanding, and sincerely wish you a beautiful and snow-free summer! You’re laughing – but it has been known to snow in Finland in summer.

Surrender is not an option for us.

TAPIO MATTILA Senior Vice President Marketing and Sales Steveco



HOW KOUVOLA BECAME A LIVELY RAIL HUB The railway from Riihimäki to St Petersburg was completed in 1870. A couple of years later, wood pulping plants and paper machines were set up in the region. Wood pulp was quickly replacing the traditional raw material for paper, cotton rag pulp, and an attractive market was within reach in the east. Paper and cardboard were first transported by horse-drawn carriages to railway stations and loaded onto trains. The first station in the area, Koria (then Kymi), however, was thought by



paper manufacturer Axel Wilhelm Wahren to be located on the wrong side of the Kymijoki river. He contacted the railway administration to apply for a new station on the east side of the river, and the Kouvola railway station was inaugurated in 1875. Soon, tracks were leading from Kouvola north to Savonia with its wood raw material reserves, and south to the port city of Kotka. Kouvola eventually became one of Finland’s busiest rail hubs and the country’s 11th largest city.


From the road

TO WAREHOUSE TO RAIL Steveco’s Land Traffic Terminal is ready to further concentrate rail transport in Kouvola. text Marianna Salin photos Johannes Wiehn


aper has been loaded in Kouvola on trains heading for St Petersburg since 1875. This is still the case today, and it will continue to be the case in the future as well. “We receive cargo in Kouvola from everywhere in Finland, with some coming in also from Swedish factories and elsewhere in Europe. We unload the trucks and trains into our warehouses, handle the forwarding and reload the goods onto wagons going to Russia and other CIS countries,” explains Pauliina Lindholm, Head of Logistics. The land terminal includes two warehouse buildings, both with a rail connection right up to their loading docks. “We can load the wagons straight from the warehouse, and container handling takes place in the open yard.” Lindholm says that a significant part of the cargo continues the journey not on trains but on trucks, and the terminal is needed for this as well. “For example, a Russian customer may find it easier to pick up their shipment close to the border

instead of at the factory. It is also common for recipients to pick up combined shipments originating from different suppliers and collected at the warehouse.” Lindholm estimates that the terminal dispatches around a hundred truckloads and ten rail wagons towards the eastern border every week. FROM THE WAREHOUSE TO TRUCKS AND TRAINS

The main products that pass through the warehouse are paper rolls and pallets.



“Of course, we can also handle other piece goods, such as bulk bags or intermediate bulk containers if they contain non-hazardous materials,“ Lindholm says. She points out that customers consider it important and self-evident that the warehouses are kept immaculately clean. Smells and stones are both enemies of paper. “Obviously, the forklifts we use inside are never driven outdoors.” Ms Lindholm goes on to explain that customers seldom use the warehouse facilities for long-term storage, but occasionally, larger amounts accumulate while waiting for instructions from the receivers. “Usually, our 12,500 square metres are more than sufficient, but if needed, we can rent more space.” GOODS FLOW WHEN INFORMATION FLOWS

In addition to space issues, another challenge for the warehouse is times when dispatch dates for different batches come at the same time. “In that situation, it helps that we have a highly tuned operating model that we have honed, especially over the past year,” Lindholm says. The core of the model is the 6


“When a truck arrives, everyone knows what to do.”


Kouvola Land Traffic Terminal first containers handled in 2001 warehouse opened in 2003 two warehouse buildings, totalling 12,500 sq.m outdoor space flexibly available handles approximately 10,000 tonnes of cargo monthly Services forwarding warehousing cargo handling rail and road transport

smooth flow of information. The warehouse always knows what is happening in forwarding and vice-versa. “When a truck arrives, everyone knows what to do. We also do our best to plan the next day’s operations the night before.” Four forwarders work at the Kouvola terminal, to whom the drivers report on arrival and departure. In the warehouse itself, there are ten employees on both the morning and evening shifts. “The workflow is streamlined also because the same people are always on duty, and since the beginning of last year, we have been using a warehouse work planning system that shows the position of each batch of cargo on a map.” Lindholm feels it’s a great advantage that the warehouse is able to use a storage management system that is also used at Steveco ports. “Among other things, we can use the same messaging connections with customers that our port terminals use.” GROWTH FROM CONTAINER TRAFFIC TO CHINA

The Steveco terminal is located in the Tehola industrial park north of the St Petersburg railway, some five kilo-

metres east of Kouvola railway station. Right next to it, the City of Kouvola and the state government are building a giant rail and road terminal slated for completion by the end of 2022 that will serve, in particular, container traffic between Asia and northern Europe. “There are high expectations that the new terminal will create more jobs and new business opportunities throughout the region. We regard this as a positive development,” Lindholm says. Container traffic to China started already two years ago. “For example, last winter we containerised an entire train for one of our customers, meaning that we reloaded all the cargo into containers,” Lindholm says. Marko Tuokko, Sales Manager at Steveco, believes that growth in container traffic will lead not just to containerising cargo, but also to unloading containers from China. “We take care of import customs clearance, unload the goods at the warehouse and handle national distribution from the warehouse to recipients. It is important that our concept for doing this is flexible and works flawlessly,” Tuokko says. 1/2019



Steveco sea freight is smooth, fast and cost-efficient transport to the tune of nearly 10,000 TEUs annually.

SEA FREIGHT SERVICES text Jukka Nortio photos Juha Metso and Johannes Wiehn AS A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL provider

of sea freight services, Steveco keeps a close eye on the market and maintains excellent contacts with a wide network of shipping companies. “Even in a tightly competitive situation, we always find the most suitable alternative for our customers, optimised for price and routing. In addition, we offer a wide range of ancillary services for both import and export,” says Pauliina Lindholm, Head of Logistics, Steveco Logistics. But cost-efficiency and a good menu of services alone are not enough. 8


“Our absolute strength is our expert staff with long experience in the industry. They know how to meet all the needs of the customer when it comes to sea freight.” CONTAINERS AND BULK

In containerised transport, customers have widely varying service needs. Some customers deliver the goods to the port themselves and only use sea transport services. Others want to buy a door-to-door service, including customs clearance. If needed, Steveco can organise, for example, the end-to-end transport of

Break bulk services are rising to the same level as container services in Steveco’s sea freight services.

goods supplied by a Shanghai-based ered all the way to the end customer.” subcontractor of an engineering comBreak bulk services are rising to pany in Tampere, Finland. the same level as container services in A good selection of sea freight Steveco’s sea freight services. Presentservices is an important advantage in ly, break bulk freight is available at the highly competitive freight market. the Finnish sea ports, as well as from Steveco can bring the container right Lake Saimaa. The forest industry is to the customer’s premises, transport the largest user, along with container it to the port, load it, handle the doctransport. uments, organise sea “We have the same transport in a way that competitive advanThe forest best fits the customer’s tage in break bulk as industry is need, arrange forwe have in container the largest user. freight,” Lindholm warding at the port of destination, contract says. transport to the final destination, and Sea freight makes up a significant even take responsibility for unloading part of Steveco’s operations. the container at the port. For import “Around one in four of our staff inoperations, inspections by customs volved in exports handles sea freight.” and sometimes other authorities Customer companies can buy often need to be taken into account. freight services also as a package. “We have completed projects “Our customers are aware of our where the shipment is collected from advantage and the benefits we offer. the sender’s doorstep, containerising We can organise competitive bidding is arranged, and the goods are delivand we know which shipping compa-

nies are the best on which routes. We are not committed to any particular operators, but can always pick the best alternatives for our customers.” MONITORING BECOMES ELECTRONIC

Even good sea freight services are not perfect. Steveco is continuously developing its services in collaboration with customers. Digitalising them is one of the most important development projects for the near future. “We are increasingly bringing our services to electronic platforms. We still have work to do in monitoring the services and the electronic order system.” Even though more and more services are available in electronic channels, the importance of human contact will not be downplayed. “Personal customer service by our experienced staff will be the foundation of our service even in the future,” Lindholm concludes. 1/2019




text Marianna Salin infographics Laura Ylikahri


within Europe



1 The tractor-trailer combination is still a more popular transport choice than containers in Europe, even if it involves a sea crossing. The logistics company Unifeeder believes the tables are turning.

ship = 1,000 containers


f cargo were to shift from the roads of Europe to sea and rail, congestion would ease and emissions drop. But is this an alluring proposition for cargo senders? After all, trucks are a convenient way to get the goods from door to door across Europe. “Consumer awareness is high and people are paying increasing attention to the environmental impact of transport, which is why the environmental impact is an interesting topic also for product manufacturers,� says Janne Raappana, General Manager Sales for Finland and the Baltics of the Danish shipbroker Unifeeder. He points to shortsea services as an alternative to road transport, 1/2019





-14 % -52 %

(40’ or 45’ containers used in calculation) CO2 calculator: Lahti Port Helsinki

1412 kg/CO2 811 kg/CO2

1218 kg/CO2

Gdynia Port Cuxhaven

Port Travemünde Port Hamburg

Immingham Hanover

basing his argument on cost-efficiency in combination with a lower environmental impact. He is not, however, advocating less comfort and convenience. That is why Unifeeder takes the containers from door to door.

1700 kg/CO2

“Containers are an extremely efficient way to use space,” Raappana sums up. He says the use of space is made even more efficient because the same ships deliver containers partly to European destinations and partly to ocean-going vessels.


Unifeeder delivers an empty container to the yard of a Finnish factory and picks it up when it is loaded. The container crosses the Baltic Sea on board a Unifeeder ship and continues on its way, for example, from Hamburg on a train or riverboat to the south of Germany, or from Rotterdam on another ship to Portugal. With a view to congestion and the environment, this is what shortsea transport is at its very best. In many cases, though, the container travels part of the distance by road. “Even then the benefits of shortsea come into play,” Raappana says. A container vessel on the Baltic Sea carries 800 to 1,700 TEUs, that is, standard 20’ containers. If the same amount of cargo were sent by road, the trucks, or even just the trailers, would require several ro-ro vessels. 12



Unifeeder’s feeder vessels visit the ports of Helsinki, Kotka and Rauma a total of 8 to 10 times every week, and from there continue to destinations such as Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Gdansk and St Petersburg. Partners take the containers further all the way to the southern side of the Alps by road and rail. “We always take responsibility from one end to the other. The customer only needs to book the transport, although, if they so wish, they can track their containers via our online service,” Raappana says. At the ports in Helsinki and Kotka, Unifeeder’s partner is Steveco. According to Raappana, a flexible port operator


Unifeeder Operates some 60 container ships on the Baltic Sea, North Sea and the Mediterranean Transports approximately 3.2 million TEU annually Provides multimodal door-to-door transport of containers (Shortsea Services) and container feeder transport for transoceanic services (Feeder Services) Multimodal transports from Ireland to Russia, from Lapland to south of the Alps Head office in Aarhus, Denmark Approximately 380 employees and representatives in 25 countries

Intermodal transport = Door-to-door freight transport using two or more modes of transport, with the transport package usually unchanged.

Multimodal transport = Intermodal transport where the customer contracts the management of the entire transport chain to one provider.

Shortsea transport




In the 13th century, in the early years of the Hanseatic League, it was clear to all that it wasn’t a good idea to sail around Denmark, at least not with a hold full of cargo. If you survived the storms, pirates were the next threat. That is why Lübeck on the Baltic Sea and Hamburg on the North Sea teamed up and secured a safe land connection between the cities. The barrels of fish and salt travelled over the 40-kilometre stretch from one port to another and continued from there along seas and rivers. The desire was to minimise land transport, which is why an extensive inland canal network slowly grew. As transport vehicles developed, cargo shifted from ships to trains and from trains to trucks. Traffic congestion and exhaust fumes became problems, and today, Climate Change is an issue. The EU’s goal now is to move traffic from the roads back to the sea, inland waterways and rail.

= Sea transport over short distances, not crossing oceans.

is needed for loading and unloading, but increasingly also for warehousing because factories are constantly minimising their storage operations. “When we provide the flexibility, we can help manufacturers even out peaks in production and demand.” Unifeeder can pick up the container from the end of the factory conveyor belt as soon as it is full, and at that point confirm a delivery time convenient for the receiver. Some customers give the destination only when the container is already sailing across the Baltic Sea. Raappana says that flexibility also means there is always room for a few extra containers on board one of their ships, even at short notice. DIGITAL AIDS COLLABORATION

In the language of logistics, transport that combines different modes of carriage is called multimodal transport. This is a hot topic in the EU, which is celebrating the year of multimodal mobility. One of its goals is to develop digital solutions that help lower the threshold between the different modes of transport.

The EU has also determinedly promoted shortsea transport since the beginning of the millennium. At that time, Finland established its own Shortsea Promotion Centre (SPC) Finland. In the EU’s view, short sea routes, the motorways of the sea, are a significant tool in mitigating road congestion and emissions. Besides sea motorways, a great deal of attention is being paid to rail transport and inland waterways. Some 90 per cent of Finland’s exports and 80 per cent of imports are already transported by sea. “The share of sea transport will remain stable in Finland, and I believe that sea transport is becoming more important as container shipping will replace road transport in Europe,” Raappana says. He adds that this trend is already visible on Unifeeder’s feeder ships. Sea transport is also being optimised and ordering systems are being developed in collaboration between shipping companies, industrial companies and ports. “We are at present testing the use of robots in order handling.” 1/2019



Mia Brunila and Ville Huovila:

Steveco Logistics

– A new Sales Director and Logistics Manager join the team

text Ville Vanhala photos Johannes Wiehn



“VILLE IS A WELCOME new pair of here at Steveco. An interesting job is hands in the team,” says Mia Brunila, a good foundation on which to build Sales Director, Steveco. my career and future.” When Ville Huovila, with his previous background in several THE RESPONSIBILITY forwarding and haulage companies, IS INVIGORATING was appointed Logistics Manager for Brunila has been working at Steveco Steveco’s Logistics product family, since 1993. In 2005, she was promothe returned close to his ed from forwarder to sales childhood landscape. manager, and in September “Everyone Huovila, originally 2018, she became Sales here must be Director of the Steveco from the southeastern Finnish town of Hamup to speed Logistics product family. ina, but still living “The new responsibilion how this ties are not weighing on my In September in Espoo for the 2018, Mia moment, considshoulders. On the contrary, business is Brunila became ers the nearby developing.” they give me more enerSales Director city of Kotka gy. When you are given a of the Steveco and the entire wider area of responsibilLogistics southeastern region of ity, you also get a view of the entire product family. Kymenlaakso his home. business from a wider perspective,” “I’ve been really she says. happy in the casual Brunila is now responsible for the working atmosphere sales and development of the Steveco Logistics product family. Her job description includes, besides customINFO er relations, contracts and pricing, the development of digital services. Mia Brunila, 48 The Steveco Logistics sales team Sales Director comprises seasoned professionals, but lives in Kotka as Brunila puts it, no one can rest on family: partner and two children their laurels. hobbies: flamenco, carnival “Everyone here must be up to speed samba and oriental dance on how this business is developing. Training and motivation are every-

one’s own personal responsibility, but I see it as my job to encourage people to develop their professional skills to meet the new challenges,” Brunila says.

international transport. Brunila thinks that the use of social media should be a distinct task today. “You can’t avoid hurrying, but if you plan your work FROM SELLER TO BUYER sensibly, you can focus on the Ville Huovila The Steveco Logistics product family essentials,” she says. is the first includes services for port operations When working with logistics and logistics, such as cargo handling, international transport, the manager in forwarding, warehousing and transborder between work and the history port. Customers are both internation- leisure is a grey area, not of Steveco al and Finnish. least because Logistics. “The product can you need to stay “One of the be the entire transport in touch with chain with cargo and customers and future chalservices, or part of it,” partners in different lenges is to Brunila says. time zones. Huovila is the first Huovila also admits develop envilogistics manager in the ronmentally that a logistics managINFO history of Steveco Logiser must be ready to be sustainable tics. He is responsible flexible about the working Ville Huovila, 30 for the subcontracting of hours. solutions Logistics Manager rail and road transport, “You need to be strict throughout lives in Espoo, in the process of as well as sea freight and about your working moving to Kotka the supply warehousing. times. Work always gets family: partner “I used to be on the done, of course, but you chain.” hobbies: open-sea kayaking, selling side, so in this job also need to be able to badminton I know what to buy.” slow down when there’s Long-haul transport is still prean opportunity for it.” dominantly on rubber wheels, but in future, rail will increase its share of CONGRATULATIONS tonnage. GO TO THE WRONG PERSON “One of the future challenges is to Brunila’s namesake is the wife of a develop environmentally sustainasecond cousin, who is the Communible solutions throughout the supply cations Manager of the City of Kotka. chain,” Huovila adds. “Mail and other messages go to her, and I occasionally get phone calls THE IMPORTANCE meant for her, so we get mixed up.” Ville Huovila has a namesake on OF SOCIAL MEDIA Brunila says that sales requires an the payroll of the forest industry innate drive and the right attitude. In company UPM Kymmene. the port and logistics business, com“When my appointment to logispetition is tightening while customer tics manager was made public, I guess demands are increasing, and digitalipart of the congratulatory messages sation is an important part of today’s went to the wrong guy,” he laughs. 1/2019


When it’s break bulk or project cargo, choose Steveco Do you have break bulk, heavy or complicated cargo to transport? Put your mind at ease. We’ll deliver it. Steveco is one of the leading break bulk and heavy project operators in Finland. With long-term expertise, competitive prices and first-rate service, we offer the optimal solution for your project cargo. Every transport solution we design revolves around one thing: you. Our cargo solutions are customized to your specific needs and precise requirements to ensure swift, reliable and cost-efficient transport and handling. When needed, we also offer project forwarding, freight forwarding and pre-carriage by road and rail. Break bulk and heavy project overseas services are available in the ports of Hamina, Helsinki and Kotka. Contact us now – we’ll deliver any and all project cargo services that you need: SALES DIRECTOR Vesa-Heikki Renlund Tel. +358 44 2323 335


Steveco Oy

SALES DIRECTOR Markus Myllylä Tel. +358 44 2323 785



Profile for Steveco Group

Satama Fair Edition 2019  

Satama Fair Edition 2019  


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