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Published: 26 May 2020

Transport in domestic waterborne traffic increased in 2019

The total volume of goods transported in domestic waterborne traffic was 10,520,212 tonnes in 2019. This covers both shipborne goods transport and timber floating. Transport increased by 39 per cent compared to 2018. The most transported goods were oil products, raw minerals and cement as well as metals and metal products. In absolute numbers, transport of metals and metal products and raw minerals and cement grew most. Ninety-six per cent of the goods were transported on board ships and the remainder consisted of timber floating. In addition to goods, 4.75 million passengers were transported in domestic waterborne traffic in 2019, of which 0.23 million in inland waterways and 4.5 million in coastal areas.

Volume of shipborne goods transport and floated goods in domestic waterborne traffic in 1980 to 2019

Volume of shipborne goods transport and floated goods in domestic waterborne traffic in 1980 to 2019

Shipborne goods transport

In 2019, the total volume of shipborne goods transport was 10,148,201 tonnes. Ninety-five per cent of this was transported in coastal areas. The transport is coastal transport if the port of departure or destination is situated on the coast. As in previous years, oil products were transported most, 3.5 million tonnes. The next most transported goods were raw minerals and cement as well as metals and metal products. The transport volume of both these types of goods increased by over one million tonnes compared to 2018. Transport of hard coal and coke decreased most.

Table 1. Volume of shipborne goods transport in domestic waterborne traffic by type of goods in 2017 to 2019

Commodity group Year
2017 2018 2019
Total 5,843,684 7,265,619 10,148,201
Timber 608,697 698,109 724,393
Sawn wood 9,043 4,071 4,259
Wood pulp 4,661 919 2,491
Paper 24,404 17,790 17,964
Plywood and veneers 1,047 1,733 3,645
Ores and concentrates 131,304 132,720 103,162
Metals and metal manufactures 392,645 694,226 2,346,376
Oil products 3,554,819 3,488,766 3,487,898
Coal and coke 155,155 368,460 209,126
Fertilizers 135,301 162,148 152,097
Chemicals 80,694 66,316 138,537
Crude minerals and cement 570,264 1,469,484 2,799,477
Cereals 7,162 1,980 7,136
General cargo 163,645 156,197 149,835
Other merchandise 4,843 2,700 1,805

The transport performance of domestic waterborne traffic was 3.1 billion tonne-kilometres and it grew by 0.2 billion tonne-kilometres from the year before. Ninety-seven per cent of the transport performance came from shipborne traffic and 96 per cent from coastal traffic.

Timber floating and shipborne transport

In domestic waterborne traffic, timber was transported both by floating and vessels. A total of 1.1 million tonnes of timber was transported. A total of 0.37 million tonnes were floated and 0.72 million tonnes were transported by ship. The transport of timber grew by six per cent compared with 2018. In 2019, timber was floated only in the Vuoksi river basin.

Table 2. Transport of timber in 2017 to 2019

Transport type Year
2017 2018 2019
Timber-floating 250,000 330,000 372,011
Shipborne transport 608,697 698,109 724,393
Transported volumes of timber 858,697 1,028,109 1,096,404

Goods transport between Åland and Mainland Finland

A total of 351,024 tonnes of goods were transported between Mainland Finland and Åland. A total of 132,413 tonnes of goods were imported to Åland and 218,611 tonnes of goods were exported from there. In total, goods transport between Mainland Finland and Åland grew by 124,913 tonnes compared with the previous year, most of which was caused by increased exports of timber. Most imports to Åland consisted of bulk goods, 87,000 tonnes, oil products, 32,000 tonnes, and raw minerals and cement, 12,000 tonnes. Most exports from Åland consisted of timber, 157,000 tonnes, and bulk goods, 52 500 tonnes.

Table 3. Goods transport between Åland and Mainland Finland in 2017 to 2019

Direction and commodity group Year
2017 2018 2019
Import Timber - - -
Oil products 31,671 35,656 31,538
General cargo 95,779 84,603 87,391
Other merchandise 38,896 23,893 13,484
Import total 166,346 144,152 132,413
Export Timber 6,619 12,878 157,175
Oil products 152 151 177
General cargo 48,037 62,197 52,468
Other merchandise 17,768 6,733 8,791
Export total 72,576 81,959 218,611

Volume of transport through the Saimaa Canal

A total of 73,037 tonnes of goods were registered in domestic traffic through the Saimaa Canal in 2019. Raw minerals and cement, 49,962 tonnes, and hard coal and coke, 20,826 tonnes, were transported most. Compared with 2018, transport fell by less than one per cent. Raw minerals and cement, 54,571 tonnes, and hard coal and coke, 18,774 tonnes, were transported most also in 2018.

Passenger transport

Altogether 4.75 million passengers were transported in domestic waterborne traffic in 2019. Of the passengers, 4.5 million travelled on the coast and 0.23 million in inland waterways. The traffic recorded in the statistics includes both cruises and liner and ferry traffic. The number of passengers was highest in the area of the Gulf of Finland, 3.2 million, and the passenger traffic performance was highest in traffic between Mainland Finland and Åland, 93 million passenger-kilometres. Compared with 2018, the total number of passengers increased by three per cent.

Table 4. Passengers in domestic waterborne traffic in 2017 to 2019

Water basin Year
2017 2018 2019
Coasting and in inland waterways in total 4,546,869 4,616,156 4,754,780
Coasting in total 4,304,233 4,382,248 4,523,960
Gulf of Finland 2,875,142 3,044,188 3,197,655
Archipelago Sea 253,469 261,406 231,820
Traffic between the mainland and Åland 670,787 663,392 667,995
Åland 391,634 395,325 395,983
Sea of Bothnia 3,601 3,953 ..
Bay of Bothnia 20,650 20,645 26,407
Inland waterways in total 242,636 233,908 230,820
Vuoksi watercourse 116,161 103,127 110,965
Kymi River watercourse 29,670 32,413 29,372
Kokemäki River watercourse 71,462 70,303 ..
Ostrobothnias area 2,148 2,305 ..
Oulu river and northern Finland 23,195 25,760 15,369
1)
1) .. = Data is subject to secrecy

Source: Transport and Tourism, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Matti Kokkonen 029 551 3770, Sami Lahtinen 029 551 3207, matti.kokkonen@stat.fi

Director in charge: Mari Ylä-Jarkko

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Updated 26.05.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Domestic Waterborne Traffic [e-publication].
ISSN=2670-1979. 2019. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 6.2.2023].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kvliik/2019/kvliik_2019_2020-05-26_tie_001_en.html