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VR seeks growth in logistics services from new industries and green transition

Rail transport produces less emissions and consumes less energy than other modes of transport. Therefore, it plays an essential role in reducing transport emissions. VR's logistics business, VR Transpoint, actively invests in three key growth areas that support the green transition: industrial investments, green transition investments and combined transport.

Future plant investments in Finland require sustainable transport solutions, and emission-free rail traffic as a mode of transport is a key part of the green transition. In recent years, forest companies have made significant investments in new production facilities and capacity expansion in Finland.

“We help our customers find optimum transport solutions to support their investment decisions. When planning new plants, the current state of the railway infrastructure and the necessary investments must be taken into account at an early stage. By joining forces already at an early stage, there is a better chance to develop the most efficient transport concepts that will also strengthen our customers’ competitiveness. Efficient logistics solutions are an essential part of the growth story of companies,” says Eljas Koistinen, Senior vice president, Logistics at VR Transpoint.

VR Transpoint’s growth orientation is also supported by the current trend: new industrial sectors related to the green transition, such as biomethanol plants, the hydrogen industry and the production of carbon-neutral steel.

“Certification of a product as environmentally friendly requires "that its transport chain is also sufficiently green. The emission-free railway transport chain plays a decisive role here,” Koistinen continues.

Freight on rail through combined transport

VR Transpoint is creating a collaborative service concept for combined transport. Combined transport refers to the transport of euro trailers, tracks or trailers by train. In the early stage, the infrastructure and the fleet enable the train transport of containers and trailers.

“We have explored the possibilities of launching combined transport with different operators – and there seems to be interest in the matter. A sufficient base volume would allow the service to be launched as early as next year. As demand increases, the capacity can be increased according to customer needs. Combined transport also supports the emission reduction targets very well,” Koistinen says.

The operation of combined transport is initially planned from Vuosaari Harbour to Oulu. Potential customers include transport companies, retail chains or shipping companies. The service would also enable rail transport for operators for which it has not been possible before.

“Combined transport is one solution for increasing the competitiveness of environmentally friendly rail transport and its modal share in Finland. Our vision is to create an extensive intermodal network between several cities and, in the long term, even to find solutions that would allow Finnish products to reach Central Europe by train,” Koistinen envisions.