Published: 10 June 2021

Transport in domestic waterborne traffic decreased in 2020

The total volume of goods transported in domestic waterborne traffic was 7.5 million tonnes in 2020. This covers both shipborne goods transport and timber floating. Transport declined by 29 per cent compared to 2019. The most transported goods were oil products, raw minerals and cement as well as timber. In absolute numbers, the biggest growth was recorded in the transport of general cargo and fertilisers. Ninety-five per cent of the goods were transported on board ships and the remainder consisted of timber floating. In addition to goods, 2.9 million passengers were transported in domestic waterborne traffic in 2020, of which 0.2 million in inland waterways and 2.7 million in coastal areas.

Volume of shipborne goods transport and floated goods in domestic waterborne traffic in 1980 to 2020

Volume of shipborne goods transport and floated goods in domestic waterborne traffic in 1980 to 2020

Shipborne goods transport

In 2020, the total volume of shipborne goods transport was 7.1 million tonnes. The total volume of goods transported returned to the level of previous years after the exceptionally lively year 2019, the fall being mainly explained by decreased transport of metals and metal products. Ninety-three per cent of the total 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 second most transported were crude minerals and cement as well as timber. However, the transport volume of both these types of goods decreased compared to 2019.

Table 1. Volume of shipborne goods transport in domestic waterborne traffic by type of goods in 2018 to 2020

Commodity group Year
2018 2019 2020
Total 7,265,619 10,148,201 7,096,948
Timber 698,109 724,393 685,802
Sawn wood 4,071 4,259 7,727
Wood pulp 919 2,491 2,398
Paper 17,790 17,964 18,020
Plywood and veneers 1,733 3,645 1,520
Ores and concentrates 132,720 103,162 99,166
Metals and metal manufactures 694,226 2,346,376 10,821
Oil products 3,488,766 3,487,898 3,458,156
Coal and coke 368,460 209,126 37,836
Fertilizers 162,148 152,097 183,169
Chemicals 66,316 138,537 105,904
Crude minerals and cement 1,469,484 2,799,477 2,288,650
Cereals 1,980 7,136 8,048
General cargo 156,197 149,835 182,863
Other merchandise 2,700 1,805 6,868

The transport performance of domestic shipborne traffic was 2.6 billion tonne-kilometres and it decreased by 0.5 billion tonne-kilometres from the year before. Ninety-six per cent of the transport performance came from shipborne traffic and 95 per cent from coastal traffic.

Timber floating and shipborne transport

In domestic waterborne traffic, timber was transported both by floating and by ship. A total of 1.05 million tonnes of timber were transported. A total of 0.36 million tonnes were floated and 0.69 million tonnes were transported by ship. The transport of timber decreased by four per cent compared with 2019. In 2020, timber was floated only in the Vuoksi river basin.

Table 2. Transport of timber in 2018 to 2020

Transport type Year
2018 2019 2020
Timber-floating 330,000 372,011 363,221
Shipborne transport 698,109 724,393 685,802
Transported volumes of timber 1,028,109 1,096,404 1,049,023

Goods transport between Åland and Mainland Finland

A total of 312,134 tonnes of goods were transported between Mainland Finland and Åland. A total of 124,416 tonnes of goods were imported to Åland and 187,718 tonnes of goods were exported from there. In total, goods transport between Mainland Finland and the Åland Islands decreased by 38,890 tonnes compared with the previous year, which is explained by decreased transport of all types of goods apart from exports of general cargo. General cargo, 85,781 tonnes, and oil products, 27,951 tonnes, were imported most to the Åland Islands. Most exports from Åland consisted of timber, 120,858 tonnes, and general cargo, 58,249 tonnes.

Table 3. Goods transport between Åland and Mainland Finland in 2018 to 2020

Direction and commodity group Year
2018 2019 2020
Import Timber - - -
Oil products 35,656 31,538 27,951
General cargo 84,603 87,499 85,781
Other merchandise 23,893 18,247 10,684
Import total 144,152 137,284 124,416
Export Timber 12,878 157,175 120,858
Oil products 151 177 24
General cargo 62,197 52,576 58,249
Other merchandise 6,733 13,554 8,587
Export total 81,959 223,482 187,718

Volume of transport through the Saimaa Canal

A total of 86,179 tonnes of goods were registered in domestic traffic through the Saimaa Canal in 2020. Raw minerals and cement, 66,214 tonnes, and hard coal and coke, 11,216 tonnes, were transported most. Compared with 2019, transport increased by 18 per cent. Raw minerals and cement, 49,962 tonnes, and hard coal and coke, 20,826 tonnes, were transported most in 2019 as well.

Passenger transport

Altogether 2.9 million passengers were transported in domestic waterborne traffic in 2020. Of the passengers, 2.7 million travelled in coastal areas and 0.2 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, 1.7 million, and also the passenger traffic performance was highest in the area of the Gulf of Finland, 87 million passenger-kilometres. As a result of the prevailing pandemic, the number of passengers fell drastically especially in coastal areas, by 41 per cent, while the drop was more moderate in inland waterways and the passenger volume fell by 19 per cent compared with 2019. The total number of passengers decreased by 40 per cent from 2019.

Table 4. Passengers in domestic waterborne traffic in 2018 to 2020

Water basin Year
2018 2019 2020
Coasting and in inland waterways in total 4,616,156 4,754,780 2,872,142
Coasting in total 4,382,248 4,523,960 2,685,494
Gulf of Finland 3,044,188 3,197,655 1,697,448
Archipelago Sea 261,406 231,820 219,668
Traffic between the mainland and Åland 663,392 667,995 373,763
Åland 395,325 395,983 371,303
Sea of Bothnia 3,953 .. 8,143
Bay of Bothnia 20,645 26,407 15,169
Inland waterways in total 233,908 230,820 186,648
Vuoksi watercourse 103,127 110,965 109,787
Kymi River watercourse 32,413 29,372 13,136
Kokemäki River watercourse 70,303 .. ..
Ostrobothnias area 2,305 .. ..
Oulu river and northern Finland 25,760 15,369 13,850
1)
1) .. = Data is subject to secrecy

Source: Transport and Tourism, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Matti Kokkonen 029 551 3770, Olli Kajava 029 551 3531, matti.kokkonen@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala

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Updated 10.06.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Domestic Waterborne Traffic [e-publication].
ISSN=2670-1979. 2020. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 28.7.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kvliik/2020/kvliik_2020_2021-06-10_tie_001_en.html