Assistor, a Finnish logistics firm, said it intended to open a terminal for motor vehicles next to the southern port of Paldiski. The announcement came right after another Finnish logistics outfit, John Nurminen, revealed similar plans. Both terminals will be the first full-service ones in the Baltic states and together this year are expected to handle about 20,000 new cars for regional dealers. Assistor is expected to open in the spring, while John Nurminen was reportedly prepared to receive its first cars in Paldiski this month. Mait Leppund, managing director of AS Assistor, said the firm expected to handle 11,000 vehicles en route to the Baltic states. Investments in the terminal will amount to 25 million kroons (1.6 million euros).
Latvia could become an East European intermediary, logistics and distribution center for Aalsmeer, the Dutch flower exchange that accounts for 45 percent of the world flower market, Latvian Economy Minister Krisjanis Karins, who accompanied the president on her official visit to The Netherlands, said. He explained that Aalsmeer was shipping flowers all over the world but had "a black hole in Russia," and Latvia could fill it in by creating a distribution center through which flower deliveries could be made. Karins said that Dutch businessmen had already found five Latvian companies willing to participate in such a project.
Eesti Maksekeskuse, the information logistics company owned by Suomen Posti (Finnish Post) and that now operates under the name Itella, reported an unaudited profit of 12 million kroons (770,000 euros) for 2004. Mait Sooaru, managing director of the company, told the Baltic News Service that the firm posted sales of 114 million kroons last year, out of which one-fourth was export. Last year the firm handled 22 million letters, which accounted for approximately one-third of all letter circulation in Estonia. "We've targeted turnover growth to 125 million kroons in the year ahead, but the profit figure will probably not rise because of growing investments," Sooaru said. Finnish Post acquired Eesti Maksekeskus in May 2004 from Swedgiro AB, a subsidiary of the Sweden's Posten Sverige AB. Along with Eesti Maksekeskus, all information logistics companies belonging to the Finnish Post (in eight European countries) adopted the name Itella.
Finland's Onninen is preparing to open a wholesale outlet for construction materials in the Port of Klaipeda this year and is building a logistics center in Kaunas as part of its expansion plans in Lithuania. Onninen Lit, the group's Lithuanian subsidiary, is opening a wholesale store supplying electrical, plumbing, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, piping and steel products at Klaipeda Business Park. The Onninen Express center will be Onninen's first wholesale center in Lithuania, where it has been present for 10 years. Deimante Laumyte, a supplies assistant, said the company chose Klaipeda as a springboard due to its convenient location and favorable business climate. Onninen has 130 outlets in eight countries and employs a workforce of 2,500 people. The group's turnover reached 1.1 billion euros in 2003.