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Assessing the Benefits of a Virtual Transhipment Hub in the Swedish Forestry Industry
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this master thesis is to reduce the transportation costs and environmental distress by improving the transportation routes needed to supply the sawmills in the county of V¨asterbotten, Sweden, their raw material. It is of particular interest to explore the possible benefits of implementing a so called virtual transshipment hub for this purpose. The outline of the hub is to allow the companies within the system to deduce raw materials from other companies’ contracted harvesting areas. The hub would thus create a pool of the total raw material appointed by each specific company. These companies may deduce the raw material needed but can have it transported from a closer site than their own contracted lumbering area. Sawmill companies rely on the use of harvesting areas to provide the needed raw material and it is of common practice to contract different harvest areas. The thesis is that the permission to use other companies’ harvest areas would create new possible routes resulting in better planning and as an extension more efficient routes. This master thesis will investigate the current situation in the industry and adapt a model suitable for the purpose from the information gathered. This thesis work will also provide a number of cost allocation models which are used in cooperations between different companies in order to determine how to allocate the savings / costs between the companies. It was revealed in an interview that it was desired to include an exploration of the ETT trucks in this paper. The ETT trucks is a new type of truck which is not currently permitted in Sweden. It has a higher loading capacity than the conventional trucks used today. Gathering data proved much more difficult than initially anticipated. As a result, this paper will not provide any actual data testing, but the Results section will show that the model is working as intended by using with trivial data. More on the difficulties associated with the data in the section Discussion. Due to the trivial data it is impossible to express an actual cost saving in using a numerical value or percentage. The results from this survey did however show that there were a signification reduction of the cost associated with the transportation of raw material when the two companies tested cooperated in comparison to when they worked separately. The use of the ETT trucks would reduce the transportation costs and CO2 emissions by 20 % respectively, as presented in a survey conducted by L¨ofroth and Svenson (2012). The conclusion is that regardless if the government allows the use of ETT trucks, it should lie in the best interest to further explore the implementation of a virtual transshipment hub using real data and a thorough investigation of eligible participants through the cost allocation models and a subsequent maintenence of the system using supply chain management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
OR in practice, routing, forestry
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-110282OAI: diva2:861959
External cooperation
Länsstyrelsen Västerbotten, Process IT & Innovations
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering and Management
Available from: 2015-10-20 Created: 2015-10-19 Last updated: 2015-10-20Bibliographically approved

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