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Timflow: Seven years of excellence in wood tracking and traceability

Timflow Wood Tracking, the HS Timber Group’s traceability system, was implemented in 2017 in Romania, as a part of the action plan for a secure and sustainable wood supply chain. Its innovative features streamlined the process of tracking saw logs from source to HS mills for ensuring transparency and accountability in the supply chains.

With Timflow, HS Timber ensures that all transports meet the requirements of the Due Diligence System and that the timber does not come from National Parks or other protected areas such as forests in UNESCO World Heritage sites and virgin and quasi-virgin forests. The elements that define it as a reliable traceability system are the independent server on which the data is stored and which cannot be tampered with, the data which cannot be modified, the dedicated GPS integrated in the trail truck’s tractor that provides accurate data, the high-resolution photos of the load and the automatic alert system for transports in sensitive and protection areas.

In 2023, Timflow registered 24,000 transports, of which 3.5% were further checked by the Supply Chain Control and Certification Department before being confirmed. All checks concluded that the transports were in order and no truck was refused.

Another tool for traceability used in Romania but this time for all wood transports, is SUMAL 2.0 launched by the Romanian state in 2021. The system was built upon the foundation laid by Timflow Wood Tracking, incorporating many of its proven features. SUMAL 2.0 enhanced wood tracking and transparency across the entire country.

Timflow Wood Tracking laid the groundwork for effective wood tracking and we are proud that this solution is successful in Romania. Transparency increases trust, especially in high-risk countries,” says Adrian Lucan, Supply Chain Control and Certification Manager at HS Timber Group Romania

The most important aspects of Timflow's success which SUMAL subsequently took into account, include:

  • Transparency: Timflow's platform provides transparent visibility into the timber supply chain, enabling stakeholders to search and check all the transports of the last 12 months. SUMAL continued this transparency by implementing similar tracking mechanism on a larger scale, with the only limitation of publishing the data for 4 days.
  • Efficiency: Timflow optimised resource utilisation, reduced operational errors and certain risk, such as multiple transports with the same delivery note with the help of pictures of the entire load and dedicated GPS modules.

SUMAL currently uses the GSM devices’ GPS modules to re-create the transport route.

  • Compliance: Timflow's solution facilitated compliance with voluntary requirements and industry standards, promoting sustainable forestry practices. 

SUMAL upheld these compliance measures, enforcing the national regulation and promoting responsible practice at national level.

SUMAL 2.0 was built upon this experience by extrapolating similar solutions to a national level, thereby enhancing transparency, efficiency, and compliance in the forestry sector. The current discussions around SUMAL 3.0 could further enhance system capabilities by:

  • Adding dedicated GPS modules on each transport mean that cannot be manipulated and thus securing the route from the loading point to destination – many transport companies are already accustomed to this practice as they use it for Timflow.
  • Processing bigger volumes of data that could lead to an extended timeframe for public visibility of wood transports.
  • Stopping the fraud by securing the data that can be deleted if the system is used in offline mode.
  • Using satellite images to check the legality of harvest operations.

By adding all these features the SUMAL 3.0 system could provide the base of operators’ Due Diligence Systems which will be crucial for the new EU Deforestation Regulation compliance,” concluded Adrian Lucan.

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