University of Oulu

Transport demand

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Author: Karasu, Taha1; Leviäkangas, Pekka1; Nykänen, Erkki
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Civil Engineering
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulun yliopisto, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-16


The global community has witnessed a growing sense of urgency in addressing the pressing challenges stemming from climate change. Among industries most profoundly affected by this phenomenon are agriculture and forestry, i.e., the profound primary production sectors. Concurrently, the impact of these industries on climate change, as well as vice versa, the impact of climate change on the industries, has been a topic of considerable discussion for several years. One of the primary drivers of carbon emissions from these primary industries is energy consumption, not only during the production phase but also in the transportation of goods produced by these industries. Consequently, comprehending the scope and characteristics of transportation variables related to these products holds the potential to significantly benefit these industries by optimizing their logistics, identifying appropriate infrastructure investments, and in general allocating resources more effectively.

This research applies a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to enhance our understanding of the volume and nature of transportation variables, with cereals serving as the chosen product group, a case, for demonstrative purposes. Datasets and reports from institutions such as Luke, Tilastokeskus, and Eurostat have been scrutinized to accomplish the stated research objectives. The findings are as follows:

The number of small agricultural enterprises and farms has been declining, but the total agricultural land has remained constant, suggesting that transportation impacts should still be anticipated. For instance, there are now fewer pick-up nodes and a higher volume of produce per production unit.

Finland has been a prominent oat producer and exporter in Europe; however, Finnish farmers have been cultivating more barley than other cereal types. Consumption trends indicate an ongoing increase in oat demand, especially as arable areas shift northward due to climate change. Notably, 65% of domestic consumption is allocated to livestock feed, with 45% of this transported between farms without undergoing industrial processing. Human consumption accounts for 14% of domestic consumption. Furthermore, 17% of cereals produced are exported, significantly surpassing imports, rendering Finland a net cereal exporter rather than an importer.

Over the last decade, the average journey length for trucks transporting cereals has been approximately 115 kilometers. Certain transportation indicators, such as transport volume and vehicle mileage, have exhibited substantial fluctuations, with 2019 witnessing a nearly threefold increase in transport volume and almost a twofold rise in vehicle mileage compared to the previous year.

While the available dataset may not have provided a sufficiently solid foundation for in-depth analysis, preliminary estimates suggest a strong likelihood of interconnectedness between transport variables and trade, utilization, and production data. Consequently, it may be feasible to forecast transport demand based on data from preceding years, with the volume of transported cereals exhibiting a stronger correlation with data from the previous year than with data from the same year or two years prior. This finding may indicate that detailed, commodity level freight forecasts are possible, once the data is available.

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ISBN: 978-952-62-3833-3
Type of Publication: D4 Published development or research report or study
Field of Science: 212 Civil and construction engineering
Funding: The authors thank the LEVITOI partners and LUKE for their support in this research and gratefully acknowledge the funding of Business Finland (Grant ID 3509/31/2021).
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2023. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.