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Freight carried by rail, via ports increased in Estonia in 2018

Estonian ports handled 35.9 mln tons of cargoes in 2018, marking a 3% increase compared to the previous year, while freight shipment by rail increased 2% on year to 27.8 mln tons, Statistics Estonia said.

Loading of goods totaled 24.5 mln tons, accounting for nearly two thirds of ports' trade volume, while freight unloaded totaled 11.4 mln tons. Compared to 2017, the figures increased by 4% and 1%, respectively.

Having reached the last decade's peak in 2011, trade volume started to fall and in five years, it decreased nearly 30%. Starting from 2017, trade volumes have started to increase evenly both via ports as well as on the public railway.

Based on the data for the last three quarters of 2018, it can be said that the rise in loading of goods has been affected by an increase in goods in transit on the railway, mainly in the transport of oil products. Meanwhile, the loading of mixed cargoes and agricultural products has also increased.

Of freight transportation by rail, domestic shipments totaled 17 mln tons, accounting for the largest share, 60%, and marking a decrease of 5% on year. Freight transportation by public railway reached 13.5 mln tons in 2018, 80% of which were international shipments. Transit shipments totaled 9.1 mln tons. Freight transport by rail is mainly up due to an increase in transit shipments, which is larger compared to 2017 by a fifth. Shipment of imported goods was up 3% and export shipments grew 10%.

Compared to 2011, the volume of freight carried by rail has decreased by 1.7 times and that of transit shipments 2.5 times. In 2011, 48.3 mln tons of cargoes were carried by rail, of which transit shipments accounted for over a half, whereas in 2018, the share amounted to a third of the total volume. This is mainly due to Russia increasingly using ports instead of railway for transporting its goods abroad. 

Based on the last three quarter of 2018, crude oil and oil shale account for over half of the freight carried by rail in Estonia with domestic transportation of oil shale making up most of it. Other significant categories of freight carried by rail include nitrogen compounds, fertilizers and liquid refined oil products. 

The overview is based on a summary of 12 months' data. The volume of freight transportation in tons may have been recorded twice as when it comes to domestic transportation, the same shipment can be carried to the destination by several operators, one of which is carrying the goods on a public railway and the other on a private one.

(Source: http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=147140)


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