In 2021, a total of 14.4 million tonnes of goods (+8% compared to 2020) were transported via the Port of Helsinki, and unitized cargo traffic transported in large units, such as containers, lorries and trailers reached an all-time high. The exceptional circumstances only served to confirm the importance of cargo traffic transported via the Port of Helsinki to Finland.
In passenger traffic operations, the impact of the pandemic was even more evident compared to the previous year in the decrease in passengers.
Increase in rubber-wheeled traffic
At the Port of Helsinki, cargo traffic also remained busy during the second year of the pandemic, which helped to ensure that consumer goods and raw materials and supplies required for purposes such as industrial operations also remained available in Finland during the exceptional circumstances.
In Helsinki, the impact of disruptions in global maritime traffic, such as the blockage of the Suez Canal in March, the shortage in containers and the large increase in the prices of container cargo, was mostly evident in the increase in the amount of cargo transported on trailers.
The Port of Helsinki Group’s total cargo traffic was 14.4 million tonnes (+8%), of which 6.6 million tonnes were import and 7.7 million tonnes were export.
Passenger traffic was slow
In the second year of the pandemic, Finland continued imposing strict travel restrictions. Internal border control in the EU’s Schengen area ended on 25 July 2021 but was restarted on 28 December.
In this long-standing difficult situation, the Port of Helsinki continued its efforts to make travel as safe as possible in close cooperation with shipping companies, authorities and other interest groups.
In 2021, the total number of passengers to pass through the Port of Helsinki was 3,749,000.
As usual, the majority of the passengers, 3.2 million (-23%), travelled the route between Helsinki and Tallinn.
The number of passengers travelling between Helsinki and Stockholm was 399,000 (+6.1%), as vessels were unable to start operating between the capitals of Finland and Sweden until the summer.
The Helsinki–Travemünde route saw 102,000 passengers (+20.7%). There was no traffic at all on the route between Helsinki and St. Petersburg in 2020 and 2021.
The international cruise traffic season was only able to start at the beginning of August, when restrictions on entry were lightened. Almost 11,000 passengers had the chance to visit Helsinki and the metropolitan area during 14 port calls.
Traffic in 2022
The positive trend in cargo traffic is expected to continue in 2022. As for passenger traffic, the first part of the year is expected to remain slow due to the ongoing pandemic, but traffic is expected to pick up again closer to the summer.
Port of Helsinki
Photo: Port of Helsinki