Goods crossing the Baltic Sea
About 90% of Finland’s foreign trade is shipped by sea. Vessels transport our export products out into the world and bring us everything we find in stores. As one of the biggest sea freight operators on the Baltic Sea, Finnlines ensures that there is enough sea freight capacity and cargo transports are functioning.
The Baltic Sea is one of the world’s busiest seas, representing around 15% of the world’s cargo transports. It is estimated that there are approximately 300,000 port visits per year to the Baltic Sea ports. There are about 2,000 vessels in the Baltic Sea at any given moment and more than half of these vessels are cargo ships.*
The Finnish foreign trade is nearly completely dependent on sea connections. The most important routes in Finnish foreign trade are to the German ports on the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, and to Sweden. The major forest, chemical, metal, and mechanical industries dominate the Finnish export scene. Finnish import is more versatile but from a consumer’s point of view the most obvious import goods are groceries and other daily commodities. As a whole, Finnish sea transport volumes are about 100 million tons per year.*
The vessels operating in the Baltic Sea ensure that the cargo passes and the flow of supplies continues to run smoothly.
Finnlines is vital for security of supply
Finnlines plays an essential role in safeguarding the security of supplies for Finland and its vessels and routes ensure there is enough cargo capacity and no disruptions in cargo deliveries. Schedules are planned to serve trade and industry – for instance, the sailing from Travemünde to Finland is at night as it is important that the fresh produce arrive quickly in Finnish grocery stores. The less visible for consumers, but no less important role Finnlines has in transporting industrial cargo such as timber, steel and machine.
“Our traffic has operated normally throughout this exceptional time. From the Finland’s security of supply’s point of view, we offer vital sea transports between Finland and Germany and Finland and Sweden under market-based terms. In addition to this, our regular services ensure that products reach all important customers within the Baltic, the North Sea and Bay of Biscay,” says Staffan Herlin, Head of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service, Finnlines.
Finnlines handles over a third of the million trucks travelling by sea between Finland and Estonia, Finland and Sweden, and Finland and Germany. Finnlines is the leading freight operator on the maritime bridge between Finland and Sweden with its 40% market share. The same goes with Finland and Germany – punctual daily morning arrivals in Helsinki and early evening departures from Helsinki have established this connection as the most important maritime bridge for truck and trailer traffic in Finnish import and export.
Finnlines’ frequent transports enable customers to maintain optimal storage management, which results in savings in time and costs. In temperature regulated transports this is especially vital – logistics must work perfectly in order for the product to reach its destination in prime condition.
“A functioning logistics chain requires that the wheels keep on turning. On routes that are vital for security of supply we offer up to two departures per day – according to the needs of the customers,” says Herlin.
Finnlines’ vessels are designed and scheduled to carry cargo. “This is why they are supreme when it comes to cargo transports. For instance, when MS Finnswan arrives in Kapellskär early in the morning, the trucks are a long way out of the port before the rivalling vessels even reach it,” Herlin continues.
Profitable companies develop their operations constantly, but this is especially highlighted in uncertain times. Finnlines’ ongoing investments in the fleet and in sustainable development ensure that the cost-efficient sea transports offered by the Company are also among those with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions per every transported unit. “The new vessels which are currently under construction will increase the efficiency of our fleet even further,” Herlin recounts.
* Finnish Shipowners’ Association, 2020; HELCOM, 2018; & Finnish Statistics, 2020.