Gateway to the BRICs & Other Strategic Markets
Finland is mainly promoted to international companies as having a privileged access to the Baltic Sea region, the Nordic countries and Russia. Despite the Ukraine conflict and the tensions between Russia and the European Union, Finland is still discussing Arctic cooperation with neighboring countries. Collaboration between Finland and Russia on Arctic matters, should continue as Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and Russian president Vladimir Putin distinguish European sanctions from Arctic collaboration. The transport needs of the mining industry in Finland could develop an east-west transport axis between Kandalaksha and Kolari. In that configuration, Sodankylä will become the main logistics hub in Lapland as the town will connect the Arctic Railway to the cross border road corridors of the Joint Barents Transport Plan (JBTP). This northern network will enable Finland to improve its supply chain with new transcontinental and maritime corridors in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Northern East-West Freight Corridor, Northern Sea Route, Arctic Bridge, Trans-Siberian railway, Motorway of the Baltic Sea and TEN-T all converge to the Arctic Corridor. Options for route planning heading to Brazil, Russia, India and China will increase. Other Non-European destinations such as USA, Japan, Korean and Southeast Asia will also benefit from the new connections of the Arctic Corridor. The Northern East-West Freight Corridor, seems to be the best option for creating new opportunities of regular traffic between strategic markets and Finland. The Trans-Siberian section heading eastbound serves the fast growing markets in Asia and Russia. Transatlantic segments between the northern transshipment market (Narvik, Skibotn, and Kirkenes) and the north American transshipment market (Halifax, Montreal, New York) will shorten shipping transit times between Finland, North America and Brazil. Despite the limitations for container traffic flow all year around, the Northern Sea Route and the Arctic Bridge will be used for summer activities. Brazil could be reached from logistics hubs in North America, by using north-south pendulum connectors, while Eurasian routes connected to the Trans-Siberian corridor will serve India. The integration of the Arctic Railway, Northern Axis and the Motorway of the Baltic Sea to the TEN-T will increase the supply capacity of northern Finland to central markets in Europe such as Sweden and Germany. With this project Finland could regain lost market shares in logistics expertise to Russia and Asia but also play a bigger role in freight transport within North America.