In Finland, the logistics service market is mainly functional, the supply of logistics services is of high quality by international standards and logistics competence is at a commendable level. At present, the coverage and capacity of the Finnish transport network is mainly sufficient.
These were assessments made by a special enquirer group set up by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The task of the group was to examine the bottlenecks and needs for development in the Finnish foreign trade logistics up until the year 2030.
The survey was part of the preparations for the transport policy report and has been written into the Government Programme. The examination was carried out by Mr Jyrki Paavola (chair), Member of the Board at Hacklin Ltd, Mr Antti Vehviläinen, Vice President of Transport and Distribution at Stora Enso, and Mr Lauri Ojala, Professor of Logistics at the University of Turku.
According to an extensive survey, approximately a third of the overall competitive edge of Finnish companies is formed by logistics management in the field of trade, and a fifth in industry. With large-scale companies, the number is even higher. Companies can directly affect approximately a third of their logistic competitiveness.
The special enquirer group states that the most significant impediments to the Finnish logistic competitiveness in relation to the focal competitor countries include the high level of fiscal taxes and payments made to authorities, inflexible labour market and illegal strikes, decay of the transport network, defects in preventive international lobbying and the strict application of provisions. The special enquirer group has assessed that the single most critical threat in the coming years is the increase in transport expenses due to the environmental regulation of seafaring, especially the Sulphur Directive.
The special enquirer group states that the transport network should be developed and maintained from the viewpoint of customer needs and projects should be based on transparent socio-economical profitability calculations. The group finds that the focus of transport network financing should be shifted from development to renovation and maintenance in order to secure year-round traffic service. In its report, the group prioritises the traffic infrastructure projects planned for the following years according to their logistic added value. The special enquirer group further states that the funding of extensive projects extending over parliamentary terms should be secured and that the infrastructure financing requires reorganisation.
The special enquirers find that the development of ports is driven by the changes taking place in production and ownership structures, along with the customers of the ports and the transport decisions they make.
In terms of Finland’s international competitiveness and the field of logistics in general, it will be increasingly important that logistics operations are as reliable and predictable as possible. Workforce sufficiency and competence, along with high-quality education and research, must be secured.
Finnish Foreign Trade: Logistic Competitiveness and Needs for Development. The final report of the special enquirer group (Publications of the Ministry of Transport and Communications 6/2012) is available at the Ministry of Transport and Communications online service at www.lvm.fi.
Special enquirer group:
Mr Jyrki Paavola, Chairman of the Group, tel. +358 500 723 022
Mr Antti Vehviläinen, tel. +358 400 302108
Mr Lauri Ojala, tel. +358 50 5027031
Ministry of Transport and Communications:
Mr Kari Saari, Senior Adviser for Vehicles, tel. +358 50 558 7461
Ms Piia Karjalainen, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 40 5006410