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Published 30 Apr, 2018

Efficient transports between northern Scandinavia via Örebroregion to the ScanMed corridor

Today, there are several existing railway freight connections between the northern regions of Sweden and Norway and the Stockholm Mälar Region. There are, in general, imbalances of the freight flows in Sweden, which are mainly caused by disparities between the base industry and consumer goods flows, and the difference in the transport needs of these two markets.

Örebro is an effective intermodal hub. Its transport infrastructure is part of the ScanMed corridor, which connects Southern with Northern Europe including Örebro, and then flows eastwards towards Stockholm and Helsinki and west towards Oslo. Almost all volumes going to and from northern part of Sweden, Norway, and Stockholm on rail pass through the Örebro region. Due to the large number of passenger trains going to and from Stockholm every day, transit freight transports through Stockholm should be avoided in order to unburden its infrastructure. Transports going through Örebro region could merge and transports collectively south or north by rail. To make this work it is crucial that the timing between the different shuttles and road transport and of course the volumes are optimal.

An interview study of private actors with focus on modal shift opportunities was carried out. Out of the 280 transport flows identified in the market survey, 50 transport flows were related to the northern parts of the BSR. Out of these 50 transports flows about 60 TEUs/week (towards the north) and 7 TEUs/week (towards the south) were evaluated to have potential to shift from road to rail. 60 TEUs/week transit through Örebro region to the northernmost parts and 64 TEUs/week in transit through Örebro region to southern parts, these TEUs are also transported by truck and evaluated to have potential to shift from road to rail. Better use of the unutilized capacity in the existing rail solutions to transport these flows northwards may therefore lead to a win-win situation: the companies that today transport goods to the north by road could use a more sustainable and environmental friendly rail solution, while the ones already operating on rail probably would get a better price because of a higher filling ratio.

During the interview study competition from other modes is the main issue for goods owners not to use rail; 64% of the interviewees said this is because of the lower costs of road transport compared to rail. It is difficult to pinpoint the reason why (and if) railway is more expensive, as it differs from case to case. Reliability is also mentioned as a big challenge, as well as difficulty for finding the right freight channels.

Because of the interview study and the overall perspective, Region Örebro has managed to coordinate B2B meetings that have resulted in companies creating new business opportunities, cooperation and new knowledge about railway systems. More and more companies are aiming towards getting more environmental friendly and a part of this is shifting from road to rail. This demonstrates that there is a demand for sustainable and competitive transport that is not satisfied at the present.

There are however several obstacles to achieve this. One challenge is that a large part of these companies with consumer goods cannot gather enough volumes to have their own dedicated system trains. This means that in order for them to shift to rail, their goods need to be coordinated with other companies with similar interests.

Download the full TENTacle report here: Potential of Örebro area to funnel flows between the northernmost BSR territories and the ScanMEd Corridor.

Contact for further information:
Lovisa Uhlin
Region Örebro Län