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Press release

Press release

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Smooth traffic flows in the Baltic Sea Region are being developed

Long transport distances and a growing economy set new requirements on traffic planning and implementation of “greener” and advanced transport solutions in the Baltic Sea Region. The research project Baltic Loop develops solutions improving and smoothening transport flows of both people and goods.

The researchers will focus on three separate corridors between Örebro, Sweden, and St. Petersburg, Russia, within the Central Baltic Region: a northern route via Turku, Finland, a middle route via Tallinn, Estonia, and a southern route via Riga, Latvia. 

According to Irina Wahlström, project leader at The Laboratory of Industrial Management at Åbo Akademi University, the projects seeks to minimize the impact and/or number of different traffic hindrances or bottlenecks in these corridors. 

“The overall aim is to minimize travelling and cargo time in the corridors, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Developing traffic corridors with shortened travel and transport times will make the corridors also more attractive to new businesses and innovations,” says Wahlström.

Sea transportation is by nature international and connects regions to each other, but it suffers from many inefficiencies. For instance, the institutionalised industry mindset with conservative and uncoordinated means of communication, leads to poor capacity utilisation and cargo coordination.

According to Magnus Hellström, Associate Professor at the research profile The Sea at Åbo Akademi University, the Laboratory of Industrial Management at ÅAU primarily focuses on alternative business solutions and -models for smart and sustainable sea logistics and port operations. 

“We will specifically be looking at measures radically reducing emissions per tonne mile, substituting road transportation by short sea shipping, stimulating business, national and regional competitiveness and making the Baltic Sea Region more connected by increasing short sea shipping flexibility,” says Hellström.

Improving the efficiency of the transport network in the Baltic Sea Region requires a good understanding of the current state of business both locally and in other parts of the network. A holistic evaluation and successful implementation of improvement measures and methods requires cross-border co-operation and expertise, and information exchange. 

Baltic Loop project partners: Turku University of Applied Sciences Ltd., Finland (Lead partner) | Region Örebro County, Sweden | Vidzeme Planning Region, Latvia | Åbo Akademi University, Finland | Rīga Planning Region, Latvia | Ventspils High Technology Park Foundation, Latvia | Union of Harju County Municipalities, Estonia

Baltic Loop budget is 1.98 m€ and funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Project duration: 1 April 2019–30 June 2021.


More information

Magnus Hellström
Associate Professor in Industrial Management at Åbo Akademi University
E-mail: magnus.hellstrom@abo.fi
Phone: +358 40 737 9980

Irina Wahlström
Project Manager in Industrial Management at Åbo Akademi University
E-mail: irina.wahlstrom@abo.fi
Phone: +358 50 394 6961