Cargo traffic kept the Port of Helsinki busy in the first quarter, and especially exports picked up. Passenger traffic, on the other hand, was almost halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 3,482,000 tonnes of cargo passed through the Port of Helsinki from January to March, which was 3.6% more than during the same period the previous year. Of these figures, import accounted for 1,580,000 tonnes (-2.8%) and export for 1,881,000 tonnes (+10.5%). However, labour market measures in the forest industry in 2020, which took a toll on export in particular, affected these numbers and the comparison to the previous year.
The coronavirus pandemic, in turn, has not impacted the amount of cargo in comparison to the first quarter of the previous year.
The quantity of unitized cargo traffic* was 2,926,000 tonnes (+6.0%). Container traffic increased from the previous year by 5.9% and ro-ro traffic** by 6.1%.
Passenger traffic nearly at a standstill
Passenger traffic all but stopped for the period of January to March due to the travel restrictions put in place to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, commuting is only permitted to ensure the functioning of society and security of supply.
The first quarter saw 374,000 passengers pass through the Port of Helsinki, which is almost 80% fewer than the same time the previous year.
“We hope that passenger traffic at the Port of Helsinki returns to normal gradually starting from May or June,” says CEO of the Port Ville Haapasaari.
“This depends on the development of the pandemic in Finland and the neighbouring areas, however, as well as the schedule in which the authorities implement their exit strategy.”
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*Most of the goods transported via the Port of Helsinki are unitised cargo for Finland’s foreign trade, i.e. cargo transported in containers, trucks and trailers.
**Ro-ro traffic, Roll-on/roll-off traffic = goods transported in trucks and trailers.