International transport and logistics company Operail has launched a subsidiary in Finland, Operail Finland Oy, and is investing 50 million euros to begin freight transport on Finnish railways.
According to Chairman of the Operail Management Board, Raul Toomsalu, it is vital for the company to find new services, products and markets. “With the decisions in previous years, we already foresaw the diversification of markets and services. New business lines have made us profitable and we will continue this growth trend over the next years. The expansion in Finland is part of the company’s long-term strategy.”
“Our company’s extensive experience is playing an important role in the development of Operail's Finnish line,” explained Paul Lukka, Member of the Management Board. Lukka, who has lived in Finland for over 16 years, sees Operail as being able to provide added value to customers in its northern neighbour’s freight transport market through high quality and reliable service, and the company has great potential in the market. “We have received a very positive response from Finnish customers and various stakeholders. Further competition in the market is welcome and will contribute to the competitiveness of the whole sector,” said Lukka.
Lukka confirmed that the company has been preparing to enter the Finnish market for almost a year now. “In the first phase, we will invest nearly 50 million euros for the acquisition of rolling stock and the creation of the necessary structure for the operation of the railway company in order to enter the market,” said Lukka.
Operail Finland Oy is managed by Ilkka Seppänen, who has extensive experience with Finnish railway group VR. During his career, Seppänen has lead the VR Group rail freight transportation sales, logistics and safety. According to Lukka, Seppänen is one of the strongest managers and experts in the Finnish rail sector. “Seppänen knows all the important stakeholders and customers, and his knowledge and experience in the railway sector is undoubtedly extraordinary and invaluable,” said Lukka.
Operail is an international railway logistics and transport company whose main business lines are freight transport, wagon rental, and rolling stock maintenance and construction. In 2018, Operail carried 13.4 million tonnes of goods. The company has a fleet of more than 3,500 wagons, with almost 2,200 wagons leased to international customers. Modern C-30M locomotives are being built at Operail's Tapa depots for both freight transport servicing as well as export. The company's revenue for 2018 totalled 72.7 million euros and EBITDA was 15.7 million euros, while Operail posted a net profit of 9.2 million euros last year. The company employs over 700 people.