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Foreign Shipping Traffic

Producer: Statistics Finland
Homepage: http://
Main topic: Transport and Tourism
Related topics:
Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Yes
European Statistical System (ESS): Yes


The statistics on foreign shipping traffic comprise data on the waterborne transport of goods and passengers between Finland and foreign countries as well as on the number of vessels in international transport calling Finnish ports. In addition to data on the import and export volumes of goods, passengers and vehicles and other transport equipment, they contain data on transport performance and vessels used in transport. Furthermore, traffic and transport volumes in foreign traffic concerning the Saimaa Canal are presented in the statistics.

Data content

The statistics on transport of goods include data on total goods volume unloaded and loaded in Finnish ports by commodity group. The statistics by port also include transit transport goods as well as container cargo and cargo transported in other transport units. Data on only goods volume in transit transport or container cargo and cargo transported in other transport units can be found separately.

The statistics on passenger traffic include data on the number of passengers on passenger vessels, ro-ro passenger vessels and cargo vessels carrying out regular passenger transport. From 2001 onwards, statistics on the number of passengers arriving and departing on foreign cruise ships have been compiled separately. Prior to this, the number of cruise passengers was included in the numbers of the country of departure and arrival of the vessels.

The statistics on arrivals in foreign traffic present data on the number and tonnage of vessels arriving in and departing from Finnish ports.

Classifications used

A 16-category classification is used in the statistics on goods transport. The division is derived from the NST 2007 classification (Standard Goods Classification for Transport Statistics) to meet the needs of the statistics on foreign shipping traffic.

Data on goods and passenger transport are presented by port and country. Regarding vehicles and other transport equipment and containers, the number of transported units, cargo in tonnes transported in the units and the TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units) number of containers are presented. Vehicles and other transport equipment include cars, buses, trucks, trailers, containers, railway carriages and other transport equipment.

Data collection methods and data sources

All basic data of the statistics are obtained from the shipping companies owning the vessels or the Finnish representatives for the vessels through the national Portnet system. When a Finnish or foreign vessel in foreign traffic arrives in or departs from a Finnish port, the shipping company owning the vessel, or more frequently, its representative, inserts data on the vessel and its cargo by loading and unloading port into the Portnet system or submits the corresponding data on a paper form to the customs office, where the data are saved in the Portnet system. These data are verified and supplemented at the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom based on monthly reports sent by the port authorities.

Updating frequency

Monthly and annually.

Time of completion or release

Monthly statistics on foreign shipping traffic are published around five weeks from the end of the statistical reference month. Annual statistics on foreign shipping traffic are published at the end of August following the statistical reference year.

Time series

Data on foreign shipping traffic have been published in Finland already since the mid-1800s. Completely comparable time series on goods, passenger and vessel traffic are available from 1981 onwards. In 1981, significant changes were made in the classification of goods, and these impair the comparability of older statistics.

The different concepts and definitions used by different EU countries have impaired the international comparability of the statistics on shipping traffic. The EU Directive on statistical returns in respect of carriage of goods and passengers by sea (2009/42/EC) aims to improve the situation by standardising the classifications and definitions used by the different member states in statistics on shipping traffic. From 1997 onwards, Eurostat has collected maritime transport statistics and publishes them on their web site.


Foreign traffic, goods traffic, navigation, passenger traffic, sea transport, shipping, shipping traffic, traffic, transport, vessel traffic

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Last updated 03.06.2020