Finland used to be regarded as a remote, far flung destination but contrary to common public perceptions, it is a powerful business centre and a model for efficient freight forwarding operations. The country’s positive approach to international freight is part of a comprehensive strategy to build its global competitiveness.
Finland has the second highest penetration of broadband internet in the world (second only to the US) and it has the very highest penetration of mobile phones in the world. These statistics are indicative of how very outward looking, innovative and connected Finland is.
In fact, driven by its success in high-tech, including its most famous brand Nokia, Finland is the most competitive country in the world, according to the Global Competitiveness Report. It also has a strong biotechnology, paper and shipbuilding industry. Believe it or not, 25% of all cruise ships are made in Finland. Little wonder then that freight transport in Finland is trouble-free and efficient, which is good news for both the freight company and its customers.
Finland is a EU member country and shares a border with Russia, so it has a unique position in freight services at the epicentre of a fast developing marketplace that includes North West Russia, Scandinavia and the Baltic republics. So Finland is an extremely important gateway for shipping companies.
Finland’s gateway position as a freight forwarding route to Russia is significant. Over 40% of the EU’s road freight to Russia are shipped from Finland or travel via Finland. Because of its excellent international freight infrastructure, many foreign companies use Finland as a base for their transportation and marketing to Russia and the Baltic countries, especially Estonia.
The freight transport system is effectively based on its road and rail network, which is supported by a large number of freight services companies. There are more than fifty shipping ports in Finland, of which more than ten are on the inland waterways, which are connected to the Baltic Sea by the Saimaa Canal. Just under half of the ports are open the whole year round, so a shipping company can rely on freight transport in the region being stable and reliable.
The ports of Hamina, Kotka and Mustola, which are near the Russian border, focus on bulk cargo, free zone activities and forestry goods. All ports in Finland make good use of automated techniques, meaning that freight forwarding is efficient and fast. One aspect which really helps freight transport is that Finland’s rail gauge is the same as Russia’s.
The international freight connections with Russia will be further boosted by a highway that is being extended in Southern Finland to reach the Russian border at Vaalimaa. The E18 road, which runs all the way from Kristiansand in Norway to St Petersburg in Russia, via Sweden and Finland, is a crucial artery and is part of the European Union Trans European Road Network system, connecting up the EU member Nordic capitals.
The combination of its excellent road and rail network with its efficient range of year-round ports means that Finland is an important hub for shipping companies. The country’s freight services will only continue to increase in importance as the economies in Russia and the Baltic countries expand.
By tpsdave from Pixabay