Finnish Railways strengthens its subsidiary in Russia

2021/06/14 at 9:23 AM

Finnish national railway operator VR Group is continuing to develop its subsidiary in neighbouring Russia. To this end, a new batch of open wagons has been added to its fleet. They will allow the Finnish companies to intensify the import of wood chips from Russia.

Finnlog, VR Group’s subsidiary in Russia, has increased its wagon fleet by adding 35 new units. The wagons will be used for transporting wood chips from Russia to Finland on behalf of Metsä Group, a Finnish major pulp company. This producer owns a sawmill in Svir, the Leningrad region of Russia, that supplies wood chips to the company’s pulp mill in Joutseno, which is located close to the Russian border.

Finnlog transports chip woods from Russia to Finland, source: VR Group

New customers

Meanwhile, VR Group is interested in more customers using its cross-border freight trains. “Finnlog’s aim is to continue expanding its operations to new customers and product groups. We are currently in the process of negotiations with several customers. There is demand for import traffic from Russia and a lot of potential, so we are also investing in this,” said Martti Koskinen, senior vice president at VR Transpoint, VR Group’s division for freight transport and logistics.

First steps

Finnlog was incorporated in April 2019 and started its operations in October of the same year having delivered the first batch of roundwood from Russia to Finland. Initially, the company owned 24 specialised wagons to carry timber. Afterwards, Finnlog purchased 300 more wagons from ZMK (Zavod Metallokonstruktsy). Taking into account the new acquisition, the company’s wagon fleet amounts almost 350 units. Finnlog typically leases its wagons to the customers including the mentioned Metsä Group, which is the largest partner for VR Group’s subsidiary.

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