New national transport forecasts extend up to 2060
The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has drawn up new national transport forecasts for road, rail and maritime transport. Transport forecasts are needed for national transport system planning and assessing the impacts of transport system development measures. The time scale of the prepared transport forecasts extends up to 2060.
National transport forecasts are needed in the preparation and planning of social decision-making. Their key uses include national transport system planning and assessing the impacts of transport system development measures e.g. in relation to emissions reduction targets for transport and transport taxation.
“In order to create an overview of the national transport forecasts, we at Traficom produced overall forecasts for passenger and goods transport and derived forecasts for road, rail and maritime transport based on a harmonised description of the operating environment,” Transport Economist Hannu Kuikka explains.
The prepared transport forecasts are so-called base forecasts created on the basis of existing decisions. Base forecasts depict development based on current measures. They do not take into account political steering measures, transport infrastructure investments or other measures that have not yet been decided upon.
The starting points of the national transport forecasts are also consistent with those of other official forecasts and scenarios produced by different central government sectors.
Number of electric cars in road transport to increase strongly
In road transport, the transport performance of passenger vehicles will grow as a result of the strong increase in the number of electric cars. This is due to the reduced costs of driving. By 2030, the number of electric cars is expected to grow to 600,000 and the transport performance of passenger vehicles to grow by 6.3% from 2021. “The uncertainties of the forecast in the long term are especially connected to the number of electric cars and the level of costs, which will impact both the transport performances and shares of different modes of transport,” Kuikka says.
The forecast for goods transport is based on calculations produced with the transport intensity method. In accordance with the production structure of Finland’s national economy and based on the value added of different sectors, the method produces an estimate of the transport performance produced by each sector. The transport performance of lorries is expected to grow by 8.3% between 2021 and 2030. The growth will continue until 2040, after which it turns into a slight decline.
Rail freight transport to decrease
The overall transport of goods by rail in 2021 totalled 40.2 million tonnes, of which 15.8 million tonnes were rail transports between Finland and Russia. The estimated transport volume in 2030 is 30.7 million tonnes. The decrease in transport is due to the end of transports between Finland and Russia. The transport volume is expected to stay at approximately this level after 2030.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, long-distance passenger rail services saw a total of 14.9 million journeys. The number of passengers is expected to grow with around 15 million journeys by 2030, but then to turn to a slight decline. This is due to the electrification of passenger vehicle traffic, which will significantly reduce the costs of driving. “However, there are significant uncertainties related to the impact of electric driving to the competitiveness of public transport," Chief Adviser Tuomo Suvanto explains.
Maritime transport volumes to grow
Maritime transport forecasts apply to the export and import sea transports of Fin-land’s foreign trade. The overall volume of export in 2060 is expected to be 45.3 million tonnes , meaning an increase of 8.5% from 2021. Similarly, the overall volume of import in 2060 is expected to be 51.8 million tonnes, an increase of 19% from 2021. “The import volume is expected to grow particularly strongly in the next few years, as rail imports from Russia are replaced by sea transport from other countries," Senior Specialist Tuomas Kiiski explains.
The new national transport forecasts were completed in late 2022. Traficom is building a new national transport forecast model system to be used in producing transport forecasts and assessing impact.
Learn more about the report (External link) (in Finnish)
Road transport: Hannu Kuikka, tel. +358 29 534 6710, email@example.com
Rail transport: Tuomo Suvanto, tel. +358 29 534 6715, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maritime transport: Tuomas Kiiski, tel. +358 29 539 0631, email@example.com