Sweden’s International Freight Industry – Setting World Class Standards

Sweden is world famous for two things – Abba and sheer efficiency.But although Sweden is already well known to be an efficient country, you may be surprised to know quite how very efficient its freight transport industry is. Indeed, Sweden’s logistics and international freight services are really outstanding when compared with the rest of the world.Sweden has recently come into the spotlight as in February 2009, the country was named by World Bank as having the fourth best logistics industry in the world, beaten only by Singapore, the Netherlands and Germany. This was out of no less than 150 countries and the findings were based on research with staff at 800 freight forwarding companies across the globe. So the research is extremely robust and the results set Sweden firmly in the stratosphere of the global elite in international freight.So just why is the logistics and freight forwarding industry in Sweden so much better than that in other Scandinavian countries, not to mention most of the rest of the world?According to the World Bank report, Sweden scores highly on a number of factors right across the board – with its customs procedures, costs, and the quality of its freight transport infrastructure all beating most other countries hands down. In addition, the ability for shipping companies to track and trace shipments is also exemplary in Sweden, due to the widespread use of Information and Communications Technology based systems.However, the aspect that really makes Sweden stand out is its ability to solve logistics and freight transport problems and come up with innovative solutions. This is down to the caliber of the people who work in many a freight company in the Swedish freight transport industry and the fact there is such a can-do attitude and a pervasive culture of innovation in Sweden. The international freight market benefits from this positive approach just as many other sectors of the economy do.The emphasis on innovation can be seen by the fact that Sweden is an OECD leader in terms of the country’s spending on Research and Development in relation to its GDP. It is a little known fact that Sweden outperforms larger countries like the United States, Singapore and Germany in terms of its innovation performance. One of the reasons for this is the high investment in higher education overall in Sweden. Indeed, the country has amongst the world’s highest university enrollment rates and the highest skills levels in its workforce.It is self evident that a country that has a highly skilled workforce and a business climate that encourages innovation will be competitive. There is in Sweden a business climate that is knowledge based and inventive. These are characteristics that combine to mean that the freight forwarding industry is continually moving forward, always one step ahead of the rest.Also, because the economy in Sweden is geared towards exports, the government sets out to support the freight services market and has created a world class transport infrastructure for efficient freight forwarding and international freight.So there is a virtuous circle in place in Sweden with regard to its logistics industry. The government develops the infrastructure, businesses make the most of the opportunities for export and a growing economy means that there is wealth generated to improve the infrastructure further.Another factor that is keeping Sweden at the forefront in the freight forwarding and logistics market is that the economy is made up largely of private companies. This keeps an element of healthy competition in the marketplace and of course competition is a valuable spur to still further innovation and efficiency for the individual shipping company.The combination of these unique circumstances means that the quality of the freight transport industry in Sweden is truly remarkable and well deserving of the global recognition it has received as a result of the 2009 World Bank research.

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