Torbjörn Johnsen at Skogsforum.se compiles the number of registered forwarders* on the Swedish market each quarter. The conclusion for Q1 2023 is that last year’s supply disturbances are fading away. In total 93 forwarders were registered in Q1 this year which is twice as much as in Q1 2022. Is the market recovering after the lost year 2022?
Forwarder sales Q1 2023
Komatsu Forest seems to be the winner so far this year. One third of the forwarders delivered in Sweden in Q1 were red machines from the Komatsu factory in Umeå. This makes Komatsu Forest the market leader so far.
According to Peter Hasselryd, marketing manager at Komatsu Forest, the supply of components is now better. There are still challenges but the future looks bright and the demand for forest machines is still high.
“We are a bit surprised ourselves that the market is so strong,” says Peter Hasselryd and continues. “Despite increasing interest rates and financial costs for the customers, the demand is stable. The Nordic countries and South America are good markets, but North America is also going well for us.”
Small changes in market shares
Generally, there are no big changes in market shares apart from John Deere and Komatsu Forest switching places at the top. The difference between them is however not big: Komatsu had 31 registered forwarders and John Deere 28 in Q1 2023.
The third and fourth places are kept by respective Ponsse and Rottne which means that both sold more than twice as much compared to Q1 2022. The only manufacturer that decreases in both market shares and the number of machines is EcoLog. As known, EcoLog has gone through reconstruction and got new owners by the end of 2022. This year, they announced that they will stop making small forwarders (the Gremo range). The future will tell how EcoLog will succeed in its restart.
Many large forwarders
Looking at the size of the forwarders registered in Sweden so far in 2023 it’s obvious that the share of larger machines has increased. The share of forwarders with a payload of 15 tons and more, has increased by 25 percent as those below 15 tons have decreased. If this is due to increasing demand for large machines or if there were more problems with component supply for the larger machines in 2022 remains to be seen.
John Deere’s 15-tonner is still at the top
In Sweden’s top list of registered forwarders, John Deere 1510G is still unthreatened number 1. Below the 1510G, red is shining. Places two, three, and four are Komatsu machines. The largest Komatsu forwarder, the 895, is now number two on the list followed by the Komatsu’s 855 and 875.
Stora Enso buys forwarders
When looking at the buyers of forwarders one thing stands out: Stora Enso bought quite a few machines in Q1 2023. Normally the major forest companies buy single or no machines, but this year, Stora Enso has bought five forwarders. Why that is, is unclear. Are the contractors deserting them?
* In Sweden, all forwarders are registered by the authority Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) at delivery. As the Swedish market for CTL machines** is the largest in the World (2022), those figures give a fairly good picture of the total market for CTL machines. The harvesters are, however, not registered by the Transport Agency, but the number of manufactured harvesters follows the number of forwarders in most cases.
This article is based on figures from the Swedish Transport Agency’s forwarder registrations and has been analyzed and compiled by Skogsforum.se.
** CTL = Cut-To-Length is a system based on two machines: one harvester that fells and cuts the trees into lengths at the stump in the forest, and a forwarder that brings the timber to the roadside. This is the type of machines that are manufactured and used in the Nordic Countries. The CTL technology is gaining market share globally and is today used in more than half of the World´s felling operations. Most manufacturers of CTL machines are in Sweden and Finland.