Intermodal transport upgrade: A logistics overhaul solution

Holmen case study image

About Holmen

Stockholm-based Holmen is one of the largest forest products companies in Europe. With over 3,300 employees, Holmen’s business areas include wood products, forestry, renewable energy, paperboard and paper. Holmen’s operations revolve around its focus on the forest ecocycle and a commitment to creating renewable products. Holmen Paper is one of six divisions in Holmen and has an annual production of about 1 million tons of paper products at Hallsta mill (Hallstavik) and Braviken mill (Norrköping).

Client: Holmen Industry: Forest products Headquarters: Stockholm, SE Type: Public Founded: 1609

Holmen Logo


Experiencing a shift in demand from bulk batches and warehouse storage to small orders delivered direct to customers, Holmen Paper investigated whether its logistics setup also needed to undergo a change to best serve its customers’ needs. Working closely with Holmen Paper, DFDS developed a bespoke, intermodal logistics solution to efficiently move Holmen’s products in a quicker and more frequent way to its customers, while also utilising transport data to ensure a flexible, cost effective and sustainable supply chain.

Supply chain solutions, truck, roads and freight


Holmen, end-to-end solution
End-to-end supply chain solution that minimises risk and is scalable.
Holmen, Flexible and efficient transport icon
Flexible and efficient transport system that saves time and cost.
Holmen, Real-time transport data icon
Real-time transport data to optimise the logistics network.


Holmen’s mills in Braviken and Hallsta produce paper for magazines, books, and news for both the Swedish market and others throughout Europe. With both mills located on Sweden’s east coast, Holmen would ship its products in bulk on a weekly basis. From the warehouses in Terneuzen, NL, Sheerness, UK and Lübeck, DE, the products would be distributed to customers via call-offs.

However, the customers behaviors and needs changed over time, especially when Holmen had moved into new segments. More customers were asking for a “just in time” delivery, which means orders are smaller and the lead time from order to delivery is shorter. It also became apparent that customers were moving production between different production units in Europe at a greater rate than before. Therefore, Holmen needed a logistics solution that could not only handle the large volumes from its mills, but also be flexible enough to adjust to varying capacities, markets, and customers.

Holmen magazine image

The sustainability aspect of the intermodal route between Roserberg and Gothenburg was of course very attractive, as was the frequency of departures from Gothenburg to the UK and Continent. Working together with DFDS was a great opportunity, as it allowed us to secure the large and flexible capacity we needed with transport from our mills

Ronny Bjorklund, Senior Logistics Purchasing Manager


Together, Holmen and DFDS approached the challenge by first assessing Holmen’s current logistics solution for shipments from its Swedish mills. Instead of finding a solution based on its mills, Holmen could utilise DFDS’ logistics network. By using an intermodal solution, by sea, road and rail transport, to move its products in a flexible, efficient and more sustainable manner.

DFDS developed new routes where first, Holmen’s products were transported by train and truck from the mills to Gothenburg. From there, the product was shipped by three of DFDS’ ferry routes: Immingham, Ghent or Zeebrugge, where the products were directly transported to the customers. DFDS’ three ferry routes connected Holmen products to their UK, Benelux and France markets.

More intermodal solutions were developed for their transport routes which has currently created a flexible, cost-efficient and a more sustainable solution for Holman Paper to meet the new demands of its customers.

Holmen case study - forest products