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Rising fuel prices and Russian invasion impact traffic

Published on 18.7.2022

The rapid growth in road traffic levelled off during the early summer. On the railways, the number of freight trains has decreased considerably on the previous year. Even though air traffic picked up during the early summer, traffic volumes are still clearly lower than before the pandemic. All these insights were gleaned from Traffic Management Company Fintraffic’s April–June statistics.

“Our traffic system is currently being shaken by two external shocks: rising fuel prices and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Higher fuel prices are increasing household transport costs, and have led more people to look for alternatives to private motoring. At the same time, Finland’s international air and rail traffic connections have deteriorated as a consequence of the war. A considerable fall in eastern traffic has turned Finland into the northern cul-de-sac of Europe. As fuel prices rise and people are paying more attention to transport emissions, logistics connections that are vital to Finland’s economy are facing new challenges,” says Fintraffic’s CEO Pertti Korhonen.

“It’s now important to gain renewed momentum in the development of competitive and profitable mobility services, so that we can minimise waiting times, boost the efficiency of transport chains and offer a genuine alternative to private motoring. These goals can be promoted with the aid of digitalisation, but this will not happen by itself – Finland must also make public investments in digital infrastructure and practices. It’s worth taking full advantage of the ongoing crisis to make Finland’s traffic system more efficient and sustainable,” says Korhonen.


Road traffic

In the second quarter of 2022, traffic volumes on highways and main roads rose by less than one per cent on the corresponding period of the previous year, that is, growth has in practice ceased. Traffic volumes on highways and main roads stood at just under five per cent of pre-pandemic levels in April–June. Compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, traffic volumes experienced a clear upswing in June.

The number of heavy-duty vehicles fell by 2.6 per cent on the previous year during April–June.


Rail traffic

On the railways, the number of freight trains experienced a noticeable decrease during April–June. Approximately 15 per cent fewer freight trains were running in the rail network than in the corresponding period of the previous year. The number of commuter trains rose by almost six per cent.

More track works were carried out than in the corresponding period of the previous year, and this was reflected as a decline in the punctuality of long-distance passenger trains in particular.


Air traffic

The number of flight arrivals and departures in Finland during April–June was just under a third of pre-pandemic levels (2019). However, traffic did pick up towards the summer.

According to the statistics, the number of overflights recovered during the early year, but was mainly due to aircraft flying over the Gulf of Finland on routes between Russia and Kaliningrad. Although Fintraffic Air Navigation Services provides air navigation services to these flights for safety reasons, it does not expect to receive compensation from the airlines.


Traffic data

Fintraffic shared 20 per cent more traffic data in the second quarter of 2022 than in the corresponding period of the previous year. The use of maritime data in particular rose during the spring (+45% on the corresponding period of the previous year). At an annual level, other operators make approximately four billion calls to open data interfaces administered by Fintraffic.

Fintraffic provides a traffic situation service to consumers, companies and the media, as well as open-source data for app developers to develop a variety of map services and navigators.


Check out Fintraffic’s services: 

Find out what open-source data on road, rail and maritime traffic is available in the Digitraffic service: 

The Traffic Situation service visualises data provided by Fintraffic, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency and the
Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom) on a map. This service is available as both a web service and a mobile app  (iOS and Android)

The Traffic Customer Service is a nationwide advisory service for matters concerning roads, railways and waterways. It is jointly provided by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, ELY Centres and Fintraffic.

You can make reports on the condition of transport routes through a variety of channels. It’s a good idea to download the Traffic Situation service to your mobile phone, as it enables you to monitor the traffic situation in Finland and make reports on the condition of transport routes.

Read more about road and rail traffic volumes: