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Profiles of forestry contractors and development of the forestry-contracting sector in Sweden

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Contractors perform the majority of forestry activities in Sweden, yet little is known about the development of their company structures and strategies. By analyzing data from the Swedish Forest Agency's yearly survey to forestry contractors for 2006–2009 and comparing the results with previous data for 1993–1998, we examined the current profiles of Swedish forestry contractors and their recent development. For 2006–2009, responses were received from 700 to 770 forestry contractors, corresponding to ca. 20% of the estimated total number of Swedish forestry contractors. In 2009, 60% of contractors were mainly performing logging activities, whereas 30% were mainly performing silvicultural activities. Between 1993 and 2009, the number of contractors increased by ca. 80%, while the number of forestry working contractors and their employees increased by 157%. These increases were mainly due to increased silvicultural activities. Although one-person enterprises still dominate among Swedish forestry contractors, most logging work is performed by small-sized enterprises, whereas most silviculture work is performed by large-sized enterprises. Our study suggests that there is an increased dependency upon contractors and forestry contractors have become more diversified, but still specialized, in the type of work they perform.

Keywords: Business development; entrepreneur; forest harvesting; forest machines; logging; mail survey; silviculture

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden 2: Department of Agro-environmental Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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