5.8.2022 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The statistics on foreign shipping traffic contain data on the import and export volumes of goods, passengers and vehicles and other transport equipment, the transport performance in international transport and vessels used in transport. Furthermore, traffic and transport volumes in foreign traffic through the Saimaa Canal are presented in the statistics.

Statistical population

The statistics describe goods, passenger and vessel traffic from abroad to Finland and from Finland abroad. The statistics are based on detailed data collected on each vessel visit.

Statistical unit

Data are produced on tonnes of goods, number of containers, tonnes and TEU numbers in foreign traffic. In addition, the number of vessel visits and the number of passengers according to the port of departure or destination located abroad 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, passenger or vessel traffic during the statistical reference month are recorded in the statistics.

Reference area

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

Sector coverage

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.

Time coverage

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.

Frequency of dissemination

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 towards the end of August 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.

Other vessel

Other vessels than passenger ships, dry cargo ships and tankers, for example, tugboats, icebreakers, pusher lighters, fishing vessels and administrative vessels 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).

Transit transport

Transit transport refers to transport of a load through one country while the places of departure and destination are in another country or countries and the load is transported through the transit country without loading or unloading.

Vessel’s net tonnage (net)

Measurement of a vessel’s available capacity.

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

The statistics on foreign shipping traffic can be regarded as exhaustive and reliable. The statistics are based on detailed data collected on each vessel visit.

As regards the classification of goods, there are deficiencies in the statistics on foreign shipping traffic. All cargo transported in containers, trailers, trucks, railway carriages and other transport units cannot be specified by type of goods by the data providers. Such cargo is recorded as “general cargo” in the statistics. For this reason, the figures in the statistics on paper and sawn timber do not include the entire transported volume of the goods type in question, but part of it is included in general cargo.

Timeliness

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.

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

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

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 maritime transport. From 1997 onwards, Eurostat has collected maritime transport statistics and publishes them on their web site.

Comparability - over time

In 1981, significant changes were made in the classification of goods, and these impair the comparability of older statistics.

Source data and data collections

Source data

Statistics Finland receives all data needed for production of the statistics on foreign shipping traffic from the PortNet system through the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. When Finnish and foreign vessels 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 and loading and unloading port into the nationwide Portnet system or submits the corresponding data on a paper form to the customs office, where the data are saved in the Portnet system. The data are verified and supplemented at Traficom based on monthly reports sent by the port authorities.

Data collection

The data are drawn for Statistics Finland monthly from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom’s system as a line transfer on the last day of the month. The data delivery is based on a mutual data file agreement.

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.

Methods

Data compilation

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.

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.

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

Preliminary data in the statistics on foreign shipping traffic are available on Statistics Finland's web pages monthly after the release of the latest publication and annually after the release of the annual publication in August. Simultaneously, time series on foreign shipping traffic are published and updated in Statistics Finland's StatFin database.

Statistics can be compiled as assignments from data on foreign shipping 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

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 towards the end of August following the statistical reference year.

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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