Flow optimization with Mellanskog

Efficient logistics planning is a key factor in the profitability of forestry. Studies at the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden show that the use of decision support with optimization for fundamental decisions on allocation of timber volumes can improve planning and reduce logistics costs by 5-15% and reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases with corresponding numbers. The use of decision support requires a high level of knowledge about how the problem should be formulated and what goals are important, the data that is relevant and what uncertainties and limitations that has to be taken into account.

Problem Description

Mellanskog is Sweden’s second largest forest owners’ association, where the members together own 1.6 million hectares of forest. Mellanskog operates in the middle of Sweden and delivers timber products such as saw timber, pulpwood and wood chips as well as biofuel to various industries, including part owned Setra. Mellanskog wanted to optimize the supply of round timber and create a supply plan that could lead to reduced costs and increased transport efficiency.


Creative Optimization used Woodflow Optimizer to create an optimal delivery plan for the coming season. Optimizer has been developed to handle a variety of logistics conditions and can easily be used to provide answers to different logistics scenarios, something that was used in the assignment for Mellanskog because there was a need to analyze several different delivery alternatives. As strategic decision support, Woodflow Optimizer quickly answers many very important questions, such as optimal utilization of intermodal transports and terminals, the potential in various customer offerings and the possibility of backhauls.

“The results from the scenario analysis gave us a very good basis for the upcoming decision-making process. With actual figures on how e.g. the total costs differ between different alternatives, we got a much more secure basis for decision than we had before.”

Anders Berggren, Mellanskog

More about Woodflow Optimizer

Woodflow Optimizer is a powerful tool for both timber flow planning and advanced scenario analyses based on different logistics conditions. Examples of different scenarios are varied demand among recipients, different supply volumes, different truck types, new terminals, production stops, timber exchange and more. Optimizer consider a variety of situations, e.g. intermodal transport, delivery restrictions, backhauling, timber exchange, inventory restrictions and multiple time periods.


“The results from the scenario analysis gave us a very good basis for the upcoming decision-making process.”

Anders Berggren