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Long-term partner on cooperation with Luvian Saha: “Promises have always been kept”


Trust has always been the keyword, around which cooperation between Kuljetus A. Eklund and Luvian Saha has been built across generations.

It is 1984.

A curious little boy, who has just arrived at Luvian Saha for the first time in his life, is looking out from a timber lorry’s cabin.

The boy is Ari Eklund, aged 13. He has joined his father Altti Eklund who is picking up timber.

  • “One of my very first memories of Luvian Saha is a log sorter, shivering in the cold, trying to learn how to sort logs,” Ari Eklund says.

Little did Eklund know at the time that, nearly 40 years later, he would still be driving to Luvian Saha nearly every day.

Yet, here he is.

  • “Kuljetus A. Eklund has worked with Luvian Saha since 1984. We are the longest standing transport company working with Luvian Saha without any interruptions,” says Eklund.
  • “I must have driven through the gates of Luvian Saha at least a thousand times, but every time it’s a pleasure. Of course, there have been massive changes along the way: I’ve had front-row seats to watch how Luvian Saha has grown and developed.”

Kuljetus A. Eklund is a family-owned company, with its history dating back all the way to 1961.

That was when Altti Eklund started transporting timber in the Pori region. Cooperation with Luvian Saha started in 1984 when the rapidly growing exports of Finnish timber accelerated Luvian Saha’s operations.

Ari Eklund grew up transporting timber, while he was not able to help his father until in 1991 after he completed his military service.

Luvian Saha was a significant partner for a small transport company.

  • “We only had one lorry, which I shared with my father,” he says.
    The world – and the world of logging – looked quite different at the beginning of the 1990s.
  • “Two things have remained unchanged: we mainly transport logs, and Luvian Saha has always stood in the same place. Everything else has changed since I started doing this,” he says.

Luvian Saha, a key partner, has grown and developed into a pioneer in its industry: uneven gravel yards have been paved smooth, and the sawmill has always deployed the most modern technologies.

For Eklund himself, the largest change has been the development of transport equipment, with the old and dangerous timber lorries having been replaced by modern vehicle combinations. Despite being larger, they are safer and more powerful and ecological.

The road network has also developed. After all, small forest roads used to be very narrow paths in poor condition, even inaccessible to heavy timber lorries.

The sawmill industry has evolved as a whole. Sustainability is an even more integral part of the daily activities of all forest industry operators.

At the same time, Eklund’s regular day at work has also undergone major changes.

  • “Before, I never knew what my day would be like. Quantity management wasn’t that accurate at logging sites: in winter, logs may have been stored here and there, and in spring, we drivers always had a thick folder in the cabin, in which log storage sites had been marked. We then drove from one site to the next to pick up timber. It’s quite difficult to imagine such a situation today, but then it was the normal way of working,” Eklund says.

Now, a tree cut today will be delivered to a sawmill in a matter of days.

Transport and unloading operations have precise schedules. Luvian Saha communicates with contractors using digital data management and transfer systems, allowing all partners to maintain contact without any interruptions.

Eklund says that he already knows how much timber he will transport next week.

  • “Everything has gone online, and transport operations are much more systematic, effective and ecological. The whole industry and Luvian Saha have undergone major changes, and we have lived through them side by side for a few decades now.”

The entire sawmill industry has experienced changes, requiring Luvian Saha and Kuljetus A. Eklund to adapt and learn.

Both have been able to do this.

  • “I believe that Luvian Saha has always been a well-run and forward-looking company, which has had the courage to change with the times. It’s always been great to work with them.”

During their nearly 40-year history together, both companies have also grown larger.

Ever since it was established, Luvian Saha has grown steadily through investments. This has also provided opportunities for its partners.

  • “We always aim to provide steady and stable employment for contractors, which also enables our partner companies to succeed,” says Juho Honkela, director of wood procurement at Luvian Saha.

Luvian Saha’s growth and the steady employment it provides have also helped the Eklund family business to grow. Currently, Kuljetus A. Eklund is a limited liability company which operates four vehicles and employs eight people.
Luvian Saha continues to play a significant part in the company’s business operations.

  • “I believe that trust has been the most important factor in our long-term relationship. Promises have always been kept – on both sides.”

This also lays the foundation on which the future can be built.

Currently, Eklund’s vehicles are driven through Luvian Saha’s gates by the third generation, with Ari Eklund’s son Sami Eklund having started in the timber transport business.

  • “I have strong faith in Luvian Saha’s future, and that of the sawmill industry as a whole,” says Eklund, who still drives a timber lorry every day.
  • “I hope that our partnership with Luvian Saha continues for the next 40 years as well.”

Article: Timo Riihentupa
Photo: Anssi Koskinen