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It still looks severe for shipping

26 January 2021

In 2020, up to two thousand people lost their jobs when Swedish shipping lost just over 60 percent of its passengers. And the negative effects of the corona pandemic will continue this year as well, according to the majority of Swedish shipping companies.

While freight traffic has performed fairly well, the corona pandemic has hit the ferry traffic hard. According to a survey conducted by Swedish shipowners association among its members, all ferry companies report that they have been forced to reduce their staff in 2020.

- The ferry companies lost 90 percent of the passengers in April. Seen over the whole year, 60 percent were lost, but locally the effects were greater, for example in Stockholm and Gothenburg, said Swedish shipowners association’s executive vice President Anders Hermansson during a press conference on Monday.

It still looks dark. Almost a third of ferry companies predict that they will have to reduce their staff on board, in some cases by up to 50 percent by 2021. When it comes to staff on land, almost half of the companies expect a reduction in the number of employees.

- In the first and second quarters of 2021, 90 percent of the ferry companies estimate that they will have a continued impact on their traffic and a reduction of passengers by 40 and 70 percent.

Gotlandsbolaget is one of the shipping companies that has been put under severe pressure. At the press conference, the company's CEO Håkan Johansson said that they were mainly affected in the spring of 2020, which led to, among other things, a suspension of the recruitment of about 80 seasonal employees being suspended.

- During the Easter weekend, when travel to and from the island begins, we had a loss of 90 percent of travelers. It continued during May, but by the end of the summer and at the beginning of the autumn the travel increased. Seen over the whole year, we lost 35 percent of the passengers.

 Read the study (in Swedish)

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