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ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE CHALLENGES
Chile's current economic situation raises two important issues to the country's forestry sector:
  • High energy costs, which specifically affect the silviculture sector, which uses oil for transport, and the lumber subsector, which uses electric power in most of their processes, and
  • Stagnation in productivity, which places Chile in a less competitive place compared to other forestry producer countries.

Since it is impractical to change oil prices and the Chilean energy matrix, the forest industry suggests to take actions in the sector's productivity in order to mitigate competitiveness loss. In this context, infrastructure improvement is an area of obvious opportunities.

CORMA's proposal includes upgrades in two modes of transportation:

Road Mode

It requires raising the total load limit from 45 to 61 tons or more. Additionally, suggests to use high-performance vehicles with a 61 tons capacity or more, which, despite the increase in the total load, can reduced axle load by 33%.

If implemented, these measures would imply a net load increase of 36%. This would be a significant increase, considering that transportation costs account for 50% of the direct cost of roundwoods; 18% of the direct integrated cost of sawnwood sales; and 23% of pulp.

These two measures generate a high impact on productivity: longer road lifespan, lower fuel consumption, higher road safety standards and lower road congestion and pollution in urban and interurban roads. Plus, in terms of competitiveness, places Chile at the same level of competing countries such as Finland, Sweden, Brazil, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

Railway Mode

This mode is an essential addition to road mode; it is economically more efficient than truck transportation over medium and long distances. Other additional benefits are: fuel economy, lower road construction costs, fewer accidents, reducing traffic congestion and significant reduction of CO2 emissions.

Like in road mode, CORMA has identified new railway projects- new routes, connections and branches - necessary to achieve significant productivity improvements.

These measures will not only improve the position of the forestry sector and the export industry in general on the world stage, but it will also give Chileans a better quality of life, due to several positive social and environmental externalities they generate.