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Reduced travel affected shipping the worst

10 February 2022

The corona pandemic led to large reductions in Swedes' travel. Of all traffic types, shipping was hit the hardest. Passenger transport decreased by 74 percent.

The long-term restrictions have led to large reductions in travel. Swedes' travel decreased by 13 percent between March 2020 – August 2021, compared with 2019, Transport analyses writes in a new report published today.

As a result of reduced long-distance travel, mainly foreign travel and domestic tourism, transport work on Swedish territory decreased by 17 percent between 2019 and 2020, according to the report. Rail traffic decreased by 43 percent, aviation by 64 percent, and shipping by 74 percent.

"Passenger traffic has in principle been stagnant during 2020," the Swedish Transport Agency wrote in the report The maritime market's challenges that came in February 2021. However, it is not quite so gloomy, writes Transport analyses. No evidence that passenger traffic would have been completely stagnant in 2020 can be found in the statistics, but of course, the number of passengers has been significantly less during the corona pandemic than in 2019.

Travel to Finland (including Åland) has on average during the period March 2020 – June 2021 been one-sixth of previous levels, while travel to Denmark and other foreign destinations has decreased by just over half. Travel to Gotland has decreased by 27 percent on average.

Overall, travel decreased by 61 percent, but a certain recovery in the number of domestic passengers took place in the summer of 2020. When the second wave of the pandemic struck in the autumn of 2020, the number of passengers decreased again, compared to 2019. The decline for travels to Finland was still 75 percent in June 2021, while Gotland traffic was a quarter below the value of 2019.

So what happens now that the restrictions are gone? Will the travel habits continue? Traffic analysis writes that travel has increased clearly during periods of reduced restrictions and when the threat from infection decreases, it is conceivable that long-distance travel by air, sea traffic abroad and to Gotland, and long-distance train travel will approach previous levels. But long-distance travel can, of course, be reduced for other reasons, such as climate problems, rising energy costs and international unrest.

To the report

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