5.8.2022 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The statistics on domestic waterborne traffic describe shipborne transport of goods and passengers, departing from and arriving in Finland. The statistics also describe timber floating. Furthermore, traffic and transport volumes in domestic traffic concerning canal traffic are presented in the statistics.

Statistical population

The statistics describe goods, passenger and vessel traffic between domestic ports. The statistics are based on data on vessel visits and data collected from separate inquiries.

Statistical unit

Data are produced on tonnes of goods in domestic transport. In addition, the number of vessel visits and the number of passengers are recorded in the statistics.

Unit of measure

The basic unit for goods transport is tonne, passenger traffic is described by the number of passengers, traffic performance data by tonne-kilometres and vessel visits by the number of vessel visits.

Reference period

The statistics describe traffic during the reference period, that is, goods or vessel traffic during the statistical reference month are recorded in the statistics. Statistics on passenger transport are compiled on the annual level.

Reference area

Data on goods, passenger and vessel traffic at Finnish ports are collected for the statistics on domestic waterborne traffic.

Sector coverage

In addition to an enterprise inquiry, data on passenger transport are obtained from the competent public transport authorities and from Portnet.

Time coverage

Data on both goods and passenger transport are available starting from 1980.

Frequency of dissemination

The monthly statistics on domestic waterborne traffic are published around five weeks from the end of the statistical reference month. The annual statistics on domestic waterborne traffic are published in June following the statistical reference year.

Concepts

Dry cargo ship

Ro-ro cargo ships, bulk carriers, container ships and other dry cargo ships included in the merchant fleet.

Passenger ship

Passenger ships and ro-ro passenger ships included in the merchant fleet.

Passenger transport performance

Total number of kilometres covered by passengers during a specific unit of time, usually one year. Unit passenger-kilometre.

Passenger-kilometre

A passenger-kilometre is a measurement unit describing the passenger carrying performance of some means of transport such as a passenger car, coach, train, boat, aircraft or any transport vehicle suited for the transporting of passengers. Two persons travelling five kilometres on board a vehicle generate ten passenger-kilometres. Transport kilometres multiplied by average number of passengers.

Ro-ro ship

Vessels where cargo is loaded and unloaded by moving it on wheels onto and off the ship on ramps in the stern and bow or through side doors (roll on/roll off). If a ro-ro ship can carry at least 120 passengers in addition to cargo, it is classified as a ro-ro passenger ship.

Tanker

Oil, gas and chemical tankers included in the merchant fleet.

Tonne-kilometre

Transport of one tonne of goods over a distance of one kilometre.

Tonne-kilometre

Tonne-kilometre describes the volume of transport, and is obtained as a product of transported volume of goods (tonnes) and length of transport journey (kilometres).

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

In terms of goods transport and domestic traffic through the Saimaa Canal, the statistics can be considered comprehensive and reliable.

There is under-coverage for passenger transport. There are also small companies, often owning one vessel, operating in domestic passenger transport, some of which may operate for a few sailing seasons and then close down, or the vessel is transferred to a new owner and data on the changes are not always available. For this reason, the target population of the statistical inquiry may change partly every year. Data on all new entrepreneurs are not always available at once even though the target population of the inquiry is checked annually from different sources. Only the largest established enterprises engaged in passenger traffic represent continuity in the statistics.

The coverage of the statistics on other lock canals has weakened as a result of the automation of canals. Concerning self-operated locks, only the number of lockings are obtained, as well as data on timber floating and goods transport through the operators. These data can be regarded as reliable.

Timeliness

Preliminary data of the statistics on domestic waterborne traffic are released monthly approximately five weeks from the end of the statistical reference month. The annual statistics are published once a year in June following the statistical reference year.

Punctuality

There is no delay between the release calendar and the actual release date.

Comparability

Comparability - over time

A comparable time series on the development of both goods and passenger transport is available starting from 1980. Since 2020, the producer of the statistics has been Statistics Finland. In 2019, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency was responsible for the production of the statistics, from 2010 to 2018 it was the Finnish Transport Agency and before that the Finnish Maritime Administration from 1990 onwards, when it began to be published in the Official Statistics of Finland series. Previously, the statistics were produced by the Roads and Waterways Administration. Starting from the statistical reference year 2020, data on canal traffic have been published in the statistics on domestic waterborne traffic.

Statistics on traffic through the Saimaa Canal were already compiled in the days of the old Canal from 1856 to 1939 and in the days of the current Canal since 1968. Statistics on traffic through the current Saimaa Canal are mainly comparable starting from 1971. Statistics on other lock canals have been compiled since the completion of each canal. The automation of lock canals into self-operated canals that started in the 1990s has led to traffic volumes no longer being comparable. Prior to automation, the canal lockings were carried out by the lock keeper, which meant that in the busiest boating season the lock could be filled with vessels for one locking. At present, there can sometimes be only a few vessels in the self-operated lock even during the busiest period. By contrast, data on timber floating and goods transport are comparable for a longer time period.

Source data and data collections

Source data

For producing the statistics on domestic waterborne traffic, Statistics Finland receives the basic data on goods transport stored in the PortNet system and traffic data collected by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's Inland Waterways Unit through the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. The data are verified and supplemented at Traficom based on monthly reports sent by the port authorities. Data on passenger transport and timber floating are collected separately by Statistics Finland with direct data collections.

When a Finnish or foreign vessel in coastal goods transport arrives in or departs from a Finnish port, the shipping company owning the vessel or, in most cases, its representative, enter the data on the vessel, its cargo and loading and unloading port into the nationwide PortNet system designed for shipping and port services. Data on inland waterways goods transport derive from freighters’ notifications of transport to the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's Inland Waterways Unit. Data on timber floating derive from operators engaged in floating.

Data on passenger transport are based on an inquiry to enterprises and operators engaged in passenger transport. Enterprises with vessels inspected for passenger transport operating in domestic traffic are included in the enterprise inquiry.

Data on domestic canal traffic derive from vessels’ notifications of transport. The data are stored in the maritime transport statistics system. The data on the number of passengers derive from the vessels' reports to the Saimaa Vessel Traffic Service Centre.

The number of vessels at the Pälli and Mälkiä locks is obtained by vessel type from the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's Locknet system. The lock operators working at the remote access centre of the Saimaa Canal update the lock-specific log of the Locknet system. The number of lockings in other self-operated lock canals is recorded in lock meters, the readings of which are stored once a month in the Locknet system by lock. In the Vuoksi river basin, self-operated locks are Ahkiolahti, Nerkoo, Lastukoski, Juankoski, Karjalankoski, Pilppa, Vihovonne, Kerma, Karvio and Konnus. Taivallahti and Joensuu are partly self-operated. In the Kymijoki river basin, Kalkkinen, Neituri, Kiesimä, Kerkonkoski and Kolu are self-operated locks and, in addition, the four locks in the Keitele Canal are partly self-operated. In the Kokemäenjoki river basin, self-operated locks are Herraskoski, Murole, Valkeakoski and Lempäälä.

Data collection

The data are drawn for Statistics Finland monthly from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom’s system on the last day of the month. The locking data are obtained from the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's locking system. The data delivery is based on a mutual data file agreement. Separate inquiries concerning passenger transport and timber floating are carried out annually.

Frequency of data collection

The data are drawn for Statistics Finland monthly from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom’s system on the last day of the month. Data on passenger transport and timber floating and locking data on other than the Saimaa Canal are collected annually.

Methods

Data compilation

For goods transport, the statistics are based on register data, so they are not edited in the statistical production process. However, new data variables are derived from the data. The data on passenger transport and timber floating acquired with a separate inquiry are processed at Statistics Finland.

Data validation

The data entered by the shipping company or its representative are verified and supplemented at the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom based on monthly reports sent by the port authorities. Data on passenger transport and timber floating are checked and validated at Statistics Finland.

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland

Contact organisation unit

Social Statistics

Legal acts and other agreements

The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics. 

Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.  

Further information: Statistical legislation

Confidentiality - policy

The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable. 

Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)

Confidentiality - data treatment

The data of the statistics are protected with careful table design.

Release policy

Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service. 

Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland 

Data sharing

Statistics on preliminary data on goods transport in domestic waterborne traffic are available on Statistics Finland's web pages monthly after the release of the latest publication and final data on goods and passenger transport as well as on floating are available annually after the release of the annual publication in May. Simultaneously, time series on domestic waterborne traffic are published and updated in Statistics Finland's StatFin database. Statistics can be compiled as assignments from data on domestic waterborne traffic in accordance with the customer's wishes. Data can be released for research use or for special statistical compilations without identification data through the user licence procedure.

Accessibility and clarity

Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.   

In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases. 

Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.   

Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service.

Data revision - policy

Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions. 

The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before. 

Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data.

Quality assessment

The data of the Portnet system are verified and supplemented at the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom based on monthly reports sent by the port authorities.

Quality assurance

Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The frameworks complement each other. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are also compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. 

Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)

User access

Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published. 

Further information: Publication principles for statistics 

Unless otherwise separately stated in connection with the product, data or service concerned, Statistics Finland is the producer of the data and the owner of the copyright. The terms of use for statistical data.

Statistical experts

Olli Kajava
Senior Statistician
029 551 3531

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