The logging industry is facing considerable challenges when it comes to the current supply chain set up not being able to safe guard consolidated added value throughout the supply chain. In fact, the productivity development has come to a halt or even a decrease over the last decade.
The current supply chain is of an old push model type, it is fragmented and broken. The way the entrepreneurs work today, they do not have any possibilities to safe guard that all harvested logs are delivered for its purpose. Instead, logs are erroneously sorted, left in different inventory locations, displaced or even lost. The reason for this is that current customer specifications and measures throughout the different process steps are not visible, not used and not carried out with the specificity and traceability to the level needed to sustain and guarantee added value for all involved parties.
In fact, almost all of the information collected by the harvesters is lost in the process. This happens when the logs are reloaded from one means of transportation to another and in this process, there is a minimum of three reloads.
The repetitive reloads also create inventory locations where the logs can be sitting for up to five, six weeks losing value through downgrading of the quality of the raw material. Every reload as such, done by cranes, also damages the surface of the logs, potentially creating issues downstream for the processing industry. The craning and other reloading resources also use unnecessary amounts of fuel. Craning also needs trained and certified drivers and these are very hard to come by today. The lack of information leads to a situation where there is no certainty that a specific log is delivered to the intended customer and end usage.
Altogether, this all leads to unnecessarily high costs for all the involved parties in the process and a 20% complaint rate for sawn products. To reproduce materials to manage complaints, additional energy consumption and CO2 emissions occur.
The challenge for the industry is to lay the foundation for the next wave of increase in productivity creating a more responsive, flexible and cost-effective supply chain.
Proposal for a solution
The industry has to re-invent itself and develop new “leaner” ways of working in the future to safe guard the added values created in the supply process. GWL has developed a concept whereby the individual log is transported and handled in an energy- and climate effective way. The goal with this concept is to assure that every harvested tree in Sweden always is used for its intended purpose and always handled in a climate smart wa
The concept, Lean Wood Supply ® System is based on a patented carrier for logs. The carrier eliminates the need for craning and enables easy reloads. Generated data at the point of harvesting, regarding a specific log, is directly coupled to the specific carrier used in the process. A carrier will hold anything between 35 to 60 logs depending on the dimensions for the logs. Since all the information collected is coupled to the carrier, it becomes a unique information holder and a carrier for the logs at the same time. Information will never get lost again when reloading. The concept enables for a follow up system based on the unit and gives a way to implement a continuous improvement process for the industry.
Our initial calculations show that the industry in Sweden could gain approximately SEK 9 billion per year in added value and at the same time lower emissions with approximately kg 200 million per year.
In summary – our load carrier …
• The load carrier is an enabler for further digitalization & automation in the forestry supply chain
• Digitalization, no manual reporting of information in the supply chain
- Load carrier is the carrier of both logs and information related to carried cargo
• Automation will drive cost efficiency in all steps of the the supply chain
- Craning eliminated
• “Tomorrow”, one only needs to keep track on the quality performance of the harvesting process since no one else will ever touch the harvested products until cargo reaches industry