On the road to find smarter solutions

At the beginning of May, four representatives from Port of Södertälje travelled to Liepaja in Latvia to visit one of the port’s customers, UPB.

UPB produces and exports large amounts of concrete elements to Sweden. These elements are used in the numerous construction projects currently taking place throughout the greater Stockholm region such as shopping centres, schools and housing. The demand for the concrete is great and so the UPB factory in Liepaja, 250 km from the capital Riga, is running at full capacity. Twice a month a so-called ’coaster’ arrives at Södertälje from Liepaja loaded with between 1 500 and 2 200 tons of concrete products.

In the recent months UPB have intensified its shipments and increased volumes of freight to Sodertalje. This in turn also affected the logistics of Södertälje and therefore a value stream analysis, VSM, has begun. The analysis pinpoints time saving measures and efficiency possibilities for all parties involved and these findings are then reviewed. During the visit to Liepaja we also visited the stevedore headquarters used by UPB when loading.

- It’s important to go through everything, from big and small, says Per Fredman, sales manager at Port of Södertälje and who also took part in the Latvian visit. It was our wish to cover as much of their logistical chain as possible as a complement to our own value stream analysis.

The insights of the visit were many and beneficial. In order to understand and be able to influence the handling of cargo it is important for all parties to open up for discussion and increase understanding of each other's work. In this case, from when the goods are loaded onto and leaving the factory in Liepaja to the laden ship, arrival and onward transportation from Port of Södertälje.

- Thanks to the visit, we learned for example that some management that takes place in Liepaja, in the way they unload a ship for example, would never be accepted in Sweden. These are just a few of the insights we have been able to pass on to our own stevedores, concludes Per.

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