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Andersson, Linus and Kumm, Erik (2005) Estonian logging companies. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

This thesis is exploratory by its nature, there is hardly any literature on Estonian logging companies available in English. Our knowledge on Estonian logging companies was in the beginning small. We chose to use a qualitative method that can make us understand lines of action and reasoning. We base our findings on interviews with companies using relatively modern, semi- or fully mechanized logging systems. The interviews were made by us and with the help the two Estonian forestry students. The interviews were made at the companies office. We did 9 interviews, mostly with the owner or the company manager of the company. The interviewed companies represent a yearly cut of 700.000 m3, a substantial portion of the yearly harvest which is 4 million m3 in Estonia (Swedish forest statistics yearbook 2003). Our results are indicative, showing the situation of Estonian companies with modern mechanized systems. We have also interviewed Stora Enso in Estonia. Stora Enso in Estonia owned logging companies that were logging for them. Now those logging companies have been sold out and are hired as contractors. The thing that makes the interviewed logging companies special is that they have a very broad working area. It would probably be better to call them "forest companies", meaning a company that works with most operations in the forest. They do almost everything from logging and secondary transport to wood processing and wood trading. Many of the companies own their own forest and have forest management as a big part of their business. What we found the most surprising was how modern the machinery is in Estonia. The primary reason for this is that after the Estonian independence from the Soviet Union, international forest companies, bought Estonian logging companies to be able to log for their own industries. The international forest companies modernized the machinery to make the logging more rational. There are also domestic logging companies that have the same modern machinery. The foreign ownerships are on their way to disappear by selling their investments to domestic owners. The main reason why the foreign owners are selling is that they do not want to bind up capital in machinery. The foreign owners also believe that the standard and quality of the logging and the contacts with the forest owners will increase due to competition among the many new domestic logging companies. The primary problems that the interviewed logging companies have mentioned in our interviews are the tax law, forest law and finding employees with good work ethics. According to the companies, the high taxes are promoting a black market, which is impossible for the legal companies to compete with. The biggest problem with the forest law is the restrictions on the size and shape of the logging area. This results in a more expensive logging and a less rational division of the forest. There is also the logging ban, 15 April to 15 June, in state owned forests. There is also a problem with alcoholism among the employees in many of the companies. Most companies have a positive outlook on the future. However, some of the foreign owned companies are concerned about the future and do not really know what the future will bring. Still, most of the companies have some kind of idea how to develop their company. Most companies are keen on the idea of expanding their operations by adding more forestland, or bigger working area, some want to increase the volume of logged timber.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: Logging companies, Estonia
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Forest Sciences
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Forest Sciences
Depositing User: Hans Fryk
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2005
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:35
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/587

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