A Geographical-Origin–Destination Model for Calculating the Cost of Multimodal Forest-Fuel Transportation


As a consequence of increasing demand for wood fuels, the management of forest-fuel production chains has become an important logistics issue in FinlandandSweden. Truck-based transportation has been the dominant method in fuel supply from the areas around power plants. However, increasing demand has led to enlargement of supply areas and greater variety in supply methods, including also railway and waterway transportation. This study presents a GIS-based calculation model suitable for cost calculations for power plants’ forest-fuel supply chains. The model has multimodal properties—i.e., it provides transfer of forest-fuel loads between transportation modes—and enables case-specific adjustment of transportation and material-handling cost parameters. The functionality of the model is examined with a case study focusing on a region of intense forest-fuel use. The results indicate that truck transportation is competitive with railway transportation also for long transport distances. However, increasing the proportion of multimodal transportation for other than economic reasons (e.g., for supply security) could be reasonable, since the impact on total supply costs is marginal. In addition to honing of the parameters related to biomass availability and transport costs, the model should be developed through inclusion of other means of transportation, such as roundwood carriers.

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O. Korpinen, E. Jäppinen and T. Ranta, "A Geographical-Origin–Destination Model for Calculating the Cost of Multimodal Forest-Fuel Transportation," Journal of Geographic Information System, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2013, pp. 96-108. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2013.51010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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