TALLINN – Last year the number of international traffic passengers served by Estonian ports increased by 3 percent, the number of national traffic passengers by 7 percent and the freight volume of ports in tons by 3 percent.
Last year a record number of passengers used the services of Estonian ports. In 2017, nearly 10.9 million passengers visited Estonian ports by international transport, which is 3 percent more than in 2016. The growth was mainly due to a gradual increase in the number of passengers travelling between Estonia and Finland, which reached 9 million. Around 160,000 more passengers arrived from Finland and 114,600 more passengers departed to Finland compared to 2016, Statistics Estonia said on Wednesday.
Between Estonia and Sweden, 1.3 million sea passengers were transported, which is 7 percent more passengers compared to the previous year. A total of 592,300 cruise passengers arrived by sea, 19 percent more than the year before. Three out of four passengers used Estonian ships in international sea traffic.
The number of passenger ship calls at Estonian ports in international sea traffic was around 6,170, 1 percent less passenger ships than in 2016, and 326 cruise ships called at Estonian ports, compared with 285 in 2016. On international routes, around 2 million vehicles were served by ports, of which 71 percent were passenger cars and 26 percent were trucks and trailers.
On main national ship lines, around 2.4 million passengers were transported, which is 7 percent more than in 2016. On those lines, 899 more ship trips were made than in 2016, totaling 16,100 trips. On main national lines, approximately 1.02 million vehicles were served, which is 85,700 more vehicles than in 2016.
In 2017, Estonian ports handled 34.8 million tons of cargo, which is 3 percent, or 1.2 million tons more than the year before. A total of 23.5 million tons of goods were loaded and 11.3 million tons of goods were unloaded in Estonian ports in 2017, which means that 4 percent more goods were loaded and 2 percent more goods were unloaded than in 2016. In 2017, 114 more cargo ships called at Estonian ports than in 2016. The average gross tonnage of cargo vessels totalled about 11,100.
Transit goods were loaded and unloaded in ports in the amount of 17.9 million tons, which is 1 percent less than in 2016. Around 12.7 million tons of transit cargo was loaded and 5.1 million tons unloaded at Estonian ports. The most frequently handled group of transit goods at Estonian ports was refined petroleum products, which totaled 11.4 million tons, although the transport of these products decreased by 5 percent on year.
The loading and unloading of chemicals and chemical products as transit goods amounted to 4.7 million tons, which is 5 percent more than the year before. In addition to transit goods, 10.7 million tons of goods were transported abroad through ports and 6.2 million tons of goods arrived at Estonian ports, which is respectively 9 percent and 10 percent more than in 2016.
Goods transported abroad through ports were mainly a mixture of types of goods transported together, 3.1 million tons, and products of forestry and logging, nearly 2.2 million tons. Goods that arrived at Estonian ports included primarily a mixture of types of goods transported together, 3.1 million tons, and products of mining and quarrying, 1.4 million tons.
Sea container transportation through ports expressed in TEUs increased by 13 percent compared to the previous year, amounting to around 230,400 TEUs in 2017. The number of containers shipped out of Estonian ports on vessels was around 111,900 TEUs and the number received at Estonian ports was nearly 118,500 TEUs.