The Norwegians and Swedes have set up a new shipping company, the Gothenburg-based WALLENIUS SOL, specialised in transporting forest products.
Initially, the company's network will cover the Gulf of Bothnia, both the Swedish and Finnish coasts (Husum, Kaskinen, Pietarsaari, Oulu, and Kemi), the German Baltic port of Lübeck/Travemünde, Antwerp and Zeebrugge, and southeast England.
The company has kicked off its operations with five vessels, but has already ordered brand-new ro-ros. The contract includes building up to four 1A Super ice class vessels. The newbuilds, which will run on liquefied natural gas, are to be ready by 2021.
"Together we can offer a strong mix of experience and competence, which can support a growing forest industry. Wallenius has experience from industrial shipping, ship owning, ship building and ship management. SOL brings the competence of logistics from forest industry and other types of cargo in this geographical area," Ragnar Johansson, Managing Director, WALLENIUS SOL, said.
Three major forest and paper companies from the Nordic market - Stora Enso, Metsä Board, and BillerudKorsnäs - have signed shipping deals with the new JV.
"We rely on efficient and sustainable transports for our products. The partnership with WALLENIUS SOL will enhance our opportunities to compete globally, while at the same time the new vessels will reduce environmental impact," Knut Hansen, SVP Logistics Global, Stora Enso, commented in this regard.
Photo: Swedish Orient Line