PostNord – Nordic Performance
PostNord, a leading logistics company in the Nordic region, is increasing its emphasis on sustainable operations against the pandemic-driven increase in traffic volumes.
In 2020, PostNord delivered nearly 200 million parcels and 2.6 billion letters and other mail items to the population of 28 million inhabitants and 2 million companies in the Nordic region. The company achieved the best-ever financial results in its history, a performance undoubtedly significantly aided by the coronavirus pandemic that further emphasised existing trends – growing e-commerce and consumer demand for convenience and simplicity.
In the unprecedented situation, PostNord demonstrated its ability to handle major fluctuations in volume with high delivery quality, while driving forward its improvement programmes. This also contributed to sharply improved results.
PostNord is the largest company in its sector in the Nordic region and is an important part of the region’s history. The company was formed from the merger of Post Danmark A/S and Posten AB in 2009, but its postal tradition goes back several centuries. Today, it is owned 40 per cent by the Danish state and 60 per cent by Sweden. The parent company is a Swedish public limited company with its Group headquarters in Solna, Sweden.
Finland is a market the company is looking to in order to aggressively expand its presence. The Finnish branch, that Ms Johanna Starck, CEO of PostNord Finland represents, has some 300 direct employees and achieved a turnover of EUR 130 million last year. In Finland, the company provides logistics services for business customers as well as e-commerce logistics and parcel distribution for consumers and is a leading provider of logistics in the healthcare sector.
Ms Starck says: “While PostNord has traditional postal operations in Sweden and Denmark, in Finland we are purely a logistics company with some warehousing services. With the current focus on the parcel business, we are currently striving to become Number Two in Finland’s parcel market.”
She explains that in the fast-evolving logistics environment, the company is not seen – unlike some newcomers – as a market disrupter but regarded as a trustworthy operator, providing a solid, regional Nordic-wide service. Its size and the resources to invest in capacity and service development also differentiate the company in a severely competitive market.
The company’s focus of activity is the consumer, says Ms Starck: “As consumers’ expectations, requirements and behaviours change, we are proactively developing in line with these changes, constantly seeking new ways of dealing with the new requirements ”
As elsewhere in the Nordic countries, PostNord Finland has seen how a sharp increase in e-commerce is driving business growth. While customers’ behaviour may not remain in its current form once the new normal is established, it is believed that some of it is permanent.
PostNord Finland’s ambition is to develop a strong domestic distribution network and the infrastructure to support growth, Ms Starck affirms, explaining that the company has defined a programme of expansion to establish a terminal triangle to cover an area where 60% – 70% of Finland’s purchasing power is located.
This programme includes a new terminal in Turku that became operational at the end of 2019. Another terminal, including a warehouse facility, is being built in the Tampere area and expected to become into use in mid-2021. The third logistics centre will be in Vantaa in the vicinity of the capital. Construction work on this is scheduled to commence later this year with completion expected in autumn 2022.
“Once operational, the terminals in Tampere, Turku and Vantaa will form the framework of a geographical triangle in southern Finland, in which a major share of Finland’s logistics transportation takes place. The investment will further support optimisation and efficiency while at the same time enhancing sustainability, and ultimately the customer’s experience,” says Ms Starck.
“The pandemic resulted in a drastic increase in online shopping. As a consequence, we have had to accelerate our investments and speed up our expansion plans. We are experiencing parcel volumes today that had been expected to be reached in 2022.”
She also adds that, with customer convenience in mind, a new last-mile technology including live tracking has recently been launched in the capital area of Turku and Tampere. “This gives the recipient better information regarding the parcel’s current location and its estimated delivery.”
Sustainability was a key topic for the company long before the pandemic and last year’s developments further increased its importance, given the increased traffic volumes.
“An environmental programme is very important in logistics. As a logistics company, we do create emissions and the pandemic has further highlighted the need to address the urgency to implement novel methods to be more environmentally friendly,” Ms Starck acknowledges.
“Having a leading position but also an important role to play in a society, we do have a responsibility to contribute to sustainable development in an industry that depends on transportation. We have worked systematically for a long time to reduce our carbon footprint. Over the past ten years, we have reduced our emissions by 40% despite steep business growth and now we are raising our ambitions further. We aim to lead the mail and logistics industry into the low-carbon economy by becoming fossil-free by 2030. We don’t know exactly how we’ll get there yet, but that is not an excuse for not giving it a serious try,” clarifies Annemarie Gardshol.
“However, sustainability also covers areas such as diversity and inclusion, and to have a responsible supply chain – we need to make sure that the services we buy and the companies we use are following our values for sustainable transportation.”
Going forward, the company will continue to provide unique end-to-end solutions with a dual focus on the sender and the recipient. The new infrastructure will support this strategy, making PostNord Finland an efficient, future-oriented logistics provider.