Delft University of Technology
Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Transport Technology

K.J. Mulderij Transport van pulp en papier
Literature survey, Report 98.3.TT.5038, Transport Engineering and Logistics.

For the production of paper a lot of wood is needed. Of this wood pulp is made and from the pulp paper is made. The consumption of paper has grown and therefore the transport of pulp and paper have grown also.

In principal all modalities can be used. However if possible sea-going vessels will be used, because then the costs per ton per kilometre are the lowest. For short distances and for transport to and from ports also trucks, trains and inland navigation are used.
Paper is often delivered in small parcels. That is why tracks are often used for distribution. Train and inland shipping are used to transport paper if the destination is a large distribution centre.
Train and inland shipping are used to transport pulp. To make beneficial use of trains the distance should be at least 500 km. Inland shipping is also profitable for shorter distances.

Formerly all pulp and paper was transhipped Lift-on. Lift-off (LoLo). The products were lifted by cranes. Nowadays for the transport of paper Roll-on, Roll-off (RoRo) is used more and more. The products are put on trailers or cassettes, trailers without wheels. They are brought into the ships by driving up the stern ramp. If the products are taken from the trailers, the method is called Stowable RoRo (StoRo). If the products stay on the trailers and cassettes the method is called RoRo.
The use of StoRo and RoRo demands large investments, but it helps to make the port-times of the ships shorter.

Pulp consists of bales of 250 kg during transport. The bales are binded together by steel straps. Eight bales form a unit of two tonnes, big enough to ensure fast handling. Almost all pulp is transhipped LoLo. For the loading of tracks and trains the units of eight bales are handled by means of forklift trucks with clamps. A small amount of pulp is transported as bulk.
Paper is transported mainly as rolls. The rolls are handled by forklift trucks with clamps. The rolls don't have special sizes, but are made to the clients wishes.
Nowadays paper is more and more made to a downstream product. This is done because then there is more money to make for the manufacturers, but it has made handling more difficult because the high value papers are more sensitive.
Writing and printing paper is often cut directly after production. It is transported on pallets.
A lot of wastepaper is transported, because it is an important element for the production of new paper.

The amount of pulp and paper transported in the world, is about 200 million tons. An accurate description of the amounts of paper transported can only be given for the streams from the biggest exporting countries to the biggest importers.

The costs for transporting pulp and paper are based on the amount of tonnes and on the distance over which transport takes place. The handlingcosts are based on the time needed. The handling of pulp is the fastest and the handling of high value paper the slowest. That is why the costs of handling high value paper are twice the costs of handling pulp.

The consumption of paper keeps growing as long as prosperity grows. The expectation is that growth will be about 3% per year for the next 15 years. The growth of the transport of paper will be approximately equal to the growth of the consumption, but the growth of the transport of pulp will be considerably less.

Reports on Transport Engineering and Logistics (in Dutch)
Modified: 2007.11.24; , TU Delft / 3mE / TT / LT.