Column
13.12.2016

A Traffic Network Company Would Affect Harbours as Well

Preparations for the Liikennekaari (traffic arch) programme and the new traffic network company are underway. The implications of these projects will begin to appear next spring. Director General at Finnish Transport Agency Rami Metsäpelto anticipates fundamental changes in trafficmentality.

Director General at Finnish Transport Agency Rami Metsäpelto introduced some current traffic topics at the Satama 16 Port event in Helsinki at the beginning of November. To him, the new traffic network company in particular would be a groundbreaking reform.
– The entire perception of traffic will change. Routes form a platform from where information can be collected. Route information enables various information-based services. We hope that service development will progress rapidly in the markets when the interfaces are opened.

Liikenneviraston ylijohtaja Rami Metsäpelto
Information collected from routes enables various new services, estimates Rami Metsäpelto.

The intention is to assign the maintenance and development of all traffic routes to the new company. The company would fund its operations by collecting fees from route users. The aim is to have the new company up and running at the beginning of 2018.
– Preparations are proceeding quickly and there is a strong urge to establish the company. The political decisions will be made in spring.

Interfaces will be opened

Jyrki Kasvi, member of the Transport and Communications Committee of the Finnish Parliament, also emphasised in his presentation the importance of the new company.
– If all the plans are realised, the new agenda will certainly affect harbours as well. Kasvi asked: What are the implications of the corporatisation of routes in a country with 50 harbours?

– I do not believe that the traffic network company will be given full authority. It could then focus on routes with the best profit.

Postdoctoral Researcher at the Turku School of Economicsc, Tomi Solakivi, had the answer: the declining market leads inevitably to a smaller number of harbours.
– The slower growth of global economy and trade will certainly show in the Baltic Sea and in Finland. Container traffic experienced still moderate growth but freight traffic has had zero growth in Finnish harbours.

Deepening of the passage in Vuosaari is being planned

Metsäpelto from the Finnish Transport Agency also introduced some new investment items in his presentation.

Currently, the decision has been made about the improvement of three sea passages. The deep passages in Pietarsaari and Rauma will be deepened and the deep passage in Savonlinna will be relocated.

The deepening of the passage in Vuosaari Harbour from 11 metres to 13 metres has also been added to the agency’s planning programme. The decision about the work worth 25 million Euros has not yet been made.