DB Schenker terminal in Finland has been chosen as a pilot site for Baltic Loop research

DB Schenker terminal in Finland has been chosen as a pilot site for Baltic Loop research

Following the set goal, the DB Schenker terminal has been chosen as the pilot site, where, using various methodologies, proposals will be made for actions to be taken to speed up the cargo handling in the terminal. It is located at Turku Ring Road along the E-18 corridor. The study will use new tools and methods developed by private company Noccela Ltd., that provided significant data for the Turku University of Applied Science (TUAS) project team. This company has been developing new ICT-based solutions to track the time-location positions of cargo. The idea is based on tags that are placed to forklift trucks going around or placed to cargo being transferred at the terminal. The obtained data will allow TUAS to analyze the situation and continue work on practical solutions to optimize cargo handling inside the terminal. Part of the terminal’s operations are considered to be part of the bottlenecks in the Northern Corridor, therefore the results collected here will complete the whole picture about the bottlenecks and hindrances along the corridor.

Terminals need a redesign concerning the present network. There is a clear need for re-establish the terminal network -not only because of more fluent traffic and logistic -but also for better air quality and noise reduction.

From Baltic LOOp project application
From left: Timo Päivärinta, Head of terminal. Tomi Leppänen, an engineering student at TUAS, doing interviews and observations. Akseli Väisänen, master student at TUAS, leading observations and analyzing data offered by Noccela

Field survey  in Finland to determine the Road E-18 delays and bottlenecks

Field survey in Finland to determine the Road E-18 delays and bottlenecks

Purpose and route

The Finnish partners, who are also the project’s Lead partner, have chosen to use a research method to validate the results, which would allow them to ascertain the conclusions expressed and summarized after interviews with stakeholders.

A field study was done to do the traffic flow test and this was done by organizing a long vehicle tour. The trips took place in September 2020, traveling the same route three times to obtain objective data.

The truck drive started from the Turku port and  stopped at Vaalimaa border control station between Finland and Russia and returned back to Turku port on the following day.  The whole tour timing was planned to imitate real driving situation after the ferry has arrived to port of Turku.

The idea was to get own empirical evidence about the existing bottlenecs and delays along the corridor. For the documentation the special videocamera was used and special GIS-software to combine  specific location with time to record driving time at roadsector. One of the cargo terminals was also visited during the trip. During the trips, interviews were also conducted with drivers to find out their views on the main problems in the corridor and how they think they could be solved.

Tours organization

The trips were organized on schedule. The first test trip took place in September,2020 and the next ones were scheduled for October, 2020. Ports and terminals will be surveyed in detail in October and November, 2020 to complete the present stay-of-art of delays and bottlenecs linked to them.

The tours were proceeded by four students of logistics and transportation which were doing both the driving and also did interviews with the real long vehicles` drivers.

The whole trip was 680 km long and it took nearly 9,5 hours to drive from Turku port to Vaalimaa border control.

Key findings

Tentatively the bottlenecks were linked with 1) road construction work and are technical but non-persistent at their nature, 2) traffic lights at certain junctions accesses to E-18 especially at the Helsinki RingRoad III but also somewhere else. Ring Road III is also very sensitive to road accidents causing traffic jams and 3) Resting areas are not properly planned for long vehicles. It is planned to expand the detailed analysis a little later.

Reccomendations and Solutions

The field survey investigations described above will form the basis for concrete recommendations about technical and non-technical solutions and how to break down the bottlenecks. It forms an important part to combine the whole picture concerning the corridor bottlenecks. The report consisting of data from test driving and terminal and port investigation will be ready soon.

>> Watch a video of the test drives: https://youtu.be/gqY8uA-Rsxs

Field surveys of transport bottlenecks in transport corridors: tackling of bottlenecks

Field surveys of transport bottlenecks in transport corridors: tackling of bottlenecks

Bottlenecks in the northern transport corridor (E-18; form Turku/Naantali to Vaalimaa, Russian border) have been identified through surveys, workshops and interviews. The purpose was to observe the obstacles and nodes of the transport and to find out what time it takes in the transport corridors of the Baltic Loop project. Unfortunately, Covid19 messed up the plans and observation will continue in the autumn 2020 .

Field survey started with pilot route to observe (see video) the old route from the port of Turku to Paimio (Satama-Tukholmankatu-Ratapihankatu-highway 1-Paimio). This route is forbidden to heavy trucks by the Turku City Council order. Anyway, the idea was to test the research methods and at the same time compare the “old route” with the current situation in which the heavy traffic from Turku port is forced to use Turku Ring Road.

Preliminary results of test driving

The result of this preliminary test drive was quite clear; the old route (now forbidden of city council) from/to Turku port can be even 15-20 minutes faster than the new one demonstrated by the test drive. So far, the results are only tentative. It will need some more testing. It can be assumed that in capital areas (Ring Road III) where numerous terminals are located similar delays originated from compulsory route choice set by civil servants will exist. Our coming test driving throughout the road corridors will reveal the hindrances.

Baltic Loop field surveys and observations along the gateways

The implementers of the field survey are the Bachelor students of Turku University of Applied Sciences and the students of the Turku Vocational Institute in the field of transport. The aim is to verify the bottlenecks along the identified by surveys, workshops and interviews. The route was driven with a loaded semi-trailer driven by a driver student and a graph and observations documented by an engineering student. In addition to the description, information on the speed of transport was collected with GPS equipment that recorded both location and time. By analyzing the data, it is possible to present suggestions to the street planners and operators to streamline traffic.

Later in the autumn, observations will be made on the Naantali-Örebro, Naantali-Russian border, Tallinn-Riga and Riga-Ventspils routes as well (Middle and South gatewys) . In Finland and Sweden, freight traffic is studied, and in the Baltic countries, passenger traffic on both rail and road is studied too.

Results of field work

By combining data form 1) field surveys, 2) questionnaire and 3) stakeholder interviews and meetings (ports, civil servants, truck companies etc,) we can collect and analyze the most important hindrances and bottlenecks and finally present development suggestions.

Photo by Quintin Gellar from Pexels

Local kick-off in Finland: 3 December, 2019

Local kick-off in Finland: 3 December, 2019

The seminar focused entirely on the freight bottlenecks in the North corridor (see map of the Northern Corridors below). The main  focus was attached to the bottlenecks and solution findings  in the cargo traffic, especially from the point of view of ports, terminals and transport infrastructure. The event was organized by two project partners – Turku University of Applied Sciences and Åbo Akademi University in Finland.

The seminar was initiated by three initializing presentations, that handled with transport corridor problems, bottlenecks  and development targets.  After each presentation, there were the opportunities to present  questions, arguments  and comment allegations actively to lecturers through VoxVote® online feedback system. All questions and answers were deposited to the system for later use.

After the initials, the seminar was resumed as a group work where the participants were divided into two groups to reflect on freight transport problems and bottlenecks, as well as their solutions and future trends in freight transport. The initials serve as a conduit for the actual work.

The work of the working groups resulted in a build-up of existing problems and solutions.

In working groups, in particular from the freight transport and port handling perspective,those are the flow of information between the various actors, the automation of information and the transparency and lack of information between the various actors, the content of the package and security in the future; What can be loaded on the same ship, better predictability of schedules, poor compatibility of rail and truck traffic, poor logistical location of terminals.

The proposals for solutions were presented in a more advanced combination of transport, better transport cooperation;  different pricing policy, technical solutions in ports and terminals. The establishment and development of resting areas, the real-time stabling of transport, the splitting of transport and the increase in freight frequency on the smallest vessels.


Rahtiliikenteen pullonkaulat (Jukka Laine, Schenker Oy) (.pdf, in Finnish)

Kuljetusten tehostaminen (Tero Siitonen, SKAL ry, Länsi-Suomi) (.pdf, in Finnish)

Satamapalvelujen tehostaminen (Markku Mäkipere, Stevena Oy) (.pdf, in Finnish)