july News

Two weeks ago my colleague, Christer Kjellberg, Freight Rail Manager and myself went on our motorbikes to visit Latvia, the Belarus and Russian borders. As we were travelling we visited a few of our customers and our main objective was to find out how this transport corridor is governed in terms of transport preferences, customs clearance, warehousing and cross-docking alternatives. One reflection from the visit is the declining volumes in trucks travelling over the border. Trade is volatile and the political tension is causing larger volume changes, especially eastbound. Travelling by Motor bike in this area is fine, however sometimes the gravel roads wakens you up in the saddle!

In June the number of freight units started declining slightly on our Ropax-vessels - the peak season is here for travel. The freight market shows promise and the beginning of the summer identified strong freight figures. We are ahead of our expectations in the budget and we are happy and humble of the fact that we attract this business from our customers. That is encouraging for the autumn and we will do our best to continue with our aim to be the first choice for our freight customers.

Gothenburg has been busy with many people visiting the Volvo Ocean Race which I could see just outside my office window and the Stena Match Cup in Marstrand last week gave us the feeling of a great summer. I am really looking forward to the holidays with my family and friends and I am sure that there will also be time for some adventures and motor biking - Let us all enjoy and relax.

Everyone deserves a break!

Björn Petrusson

Stena Match Cup
The recipe for world class sailing event

A somewhat remote island on the Swedish west coast, connected to land only by a small ferry, was last week the home of one of the most respected sailing events in the world. Over the last 20 years, Marstrand's unique race arena has been a scene for legendary sailors and spectacular match racing duals. Thousands of spectators have been able follow every move on the race course with excitement and awe.

Bjorn Hansen Nautiska Racing won the final this year and is now the only skipper who has won Stena Match Cup Sweden four years in a row. 

The Stena Match Cup Sweden was the third World Championship Event of the 2015 World Match Racing Tour.

Freight Frontier
Freight frontier exploration

Over the first weekend in June, Stena Line Freight completed a very hands-on journey through Latvia to explore the Swedish – Russian transport corridor empirically and in depth. On Friday 5th of June, our Freight Director Björn Petrusson together with the Freight Rail manager Christer Kjellberg headed off from Göteborg to Nynäshamn to meet the Managing director of DB Schenker Russia, Mr Aivars Taurins.

​The journey started from Ventspils Saturday morning with a motorcycle trip towards the Russian border. The overall objective was to find out how the corridor is governed in terms of transport preferences, customs clearance, warehousing and cross-docking alternatives.

We met with Mr Anatoly Lapik, CEO of Merkurij Group, in Terehova by the Lattvian/Russian border control. Merkurij Group provides all services needed in order to facilitate a good transfer across the border in terms of customs declarations. Merkurij are also in possession of systems for doing these operations remotely, supported by IT connections with both of the countries customs in real-time. ​

 'The process isn’t straight forward, says Anatoly. Latvian and Russian customs very seldom communicate with each other. As the only company who can offer remote customs clearance, we are able to offer Stena Line a waterproof trade line across the border, confirmed already in Sweden'.

Merkurij Group also offers a warehouse close-by, where the plan is to increase the capacity with 2000m2 space for the growing demand. Surprisingly, the trade line benefits from reloading into Russian TIR-trailers at this spot to make the border crossing easier and without fuss.

Rail is of course another option, already used to and from Ventspils where we are carrying chemical products eastbound, starting in Stenungsund, and ending at several destinations in Russia. Westbound steel to Germany from the Russian Ural area is another example of what we transport.​

'Trailers on trains ( called intermodal transports)  in this part of the world is not as yet developed, the obstacles are many where security here is a major one as you can’t leave your trailer un-accompanied says Christer Kjellberg. The railway companies lack wagon equipment for trailers as well. Containers goes like a breeze on rail, but are typically of less interest for our operations in bigger quantities as we can’t stack them. The future will bring more rail options for consumption goods, it’s just about being in constant dialogue with customers and follow closely the Latvian infrastructure development'

Security is taken seriously. Drivers can't sleep as they stand in the customs clearance queue with a fear of being robbed. A security parking area is available where trailers can be parked during the clearance process. ​

'It really widens up the understanding of how trade is being processed by visiting the border facilities says Björn Petrusson, symbolically opening a border gate to be utilised by Stena Line. The complexity is of course unchangeable by Stena Line, but with the Merkurij cooperation, we will succeed with the majority of our future plans accommodating cross-border operations, Björn Petrusson adds´

News july summer picture
We are open all summer long!

We wish our customers, suppliers and colleagues a sunny and relaxing summer time. Throughout the holiday season our work effort and operating hours do not change and we are still fully available.