9.8.2023 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The merchant fleet statistics cointains data on vessels registered in the transport register and the register of ships in terms of number, gross and net tonnage and deadweight (dwt). Furthermore, data on vessels registered in the Register of Merchant Vessels are included.

The merchant fleet statistics aim to serve decision-makers in shipping as well as possible by producing data for planning, monitoring, supervision and decision-making. In addition, manufacturing, trade, research and the shipping business need statistical data concerning the merchant fleet.

Statistical population

The Finnish merchant fleet statistics are based on register data and these registers contain data on all vessels registered in Finland.

Statistical unit

The Finnish registered merchant fleet comprises all vessels registered in the transport register or register of ships regardless of the vessel’s size or type. The regular merchant fleet refers to vessels that must be registered, that is, vessels with a length of 15 m or more. However, barges and other engineless vessels are not included in the regular merchant fleet. The regular merchant fleet is divided into four main categories by vessel type: passenger ships, dry cargo ships, tankers and other vessels.

Unit of measure

The units used are number of vessels, age of vessels in years and deadweight in tonnes. The statistics also use unitless measures, which are gross tonnage, net tonnage.

Reference period

The monthly merchant fleet statistics are published around one week from the end of the statistical reference month. The annual merchant fleet statistics are published at the end of February following the statistical reference year and they correspond to the register of ships at the end of the statistical reference year.

Reference area

The merchant fleet statistics describe vessels registered in Finland.

Sector coverage

The merchant fleet statistics contain data on all vessels registered in Finland. Such vessels in the transport register or register of ships, which can be granted subsidies from State funds to improve competitiveness are entered in the Register of Merchant Vessels upon application.

Time coverage

Data on the merchant fleet are available on the web pages from 2000 onwards. Merchant fleet statistics have been compiled since 1918.

Frequency of dissemination

The monthly merchant fleet statistics are published around one week from the end of the statistical reference month. The annual merchant fleet statistics are published at the end of February following the statistical reference year and they correspond to the register of ships at the end of the statistical reference year.

Concepts

Barge

A barge type vessel regardless of size, excluding pusher lighter combinations, which are included in the regular merchant fleet.

Dry cargo ship

Ro-ro cargo ships, bulk carriers, container ships and other dry cargo ships included in the merchant fleet.

Other engineless vessel

A vessel moving without its own power regardless of size, excluding barges.

Other vessel

Other vessels than passenger ships, dry cargo ships and tankers, for example, tugboats, icebreakers, pusher lighters, fishing vessels and administrative vessels included in the merchant fleet.

Passenger ship

Passenger ships and ro-ro passenger ships included in the merchant fleet.

Register of Merchant Vessels

Such vessels in the Finnish register of ships, which can be granted subsidies from State funds to improve competitiveness, are entered in the Register of Merchant Vessels upon application.

Registered merchant fleet

All vessels registered in the Finnish register of ships regardless of the vessel’s size or type.

Regular merchant fleet

Vessels that must be registered, that is, vessels with a length of 15 m or more. However, barges and other engineless vessels are not included in the regular merchant fleet. The regular merchant fleet is divided into four main categories by vessel type: passenger ships, dry cargo ships, tankers and other vessels.

Ro-ro ship

Vessels where cargo is loaded and unloaded by moving it on wheels onto and off the ship on ramps in the stern and bow or through side doors (roll on/roll off). If a ro-ro ship can carry at least 120 passengers in addition to cargo, it is classified as a ro-ro passenger ship.

Small vessel

A vessel under 15 m, but at least 10 m, which has been voluntarily entered in the register of ships.

Tanker

Oil, gas and chemical tankers included in the merchant fleet.

Vessel’s deadweight (dwt)

The combined weight of the vessel’s cargo, fuel, water supplies, stores and people according to the Plimsoll line, i.e. the vessel’s carrying power.

Vessel’s gross tonnage (gross)

Comparison figure based on the total volume of closed-in spaces of a vessel.

Vessel’s net tonnage (net)

Measurement of a vessel’s available capacity.

Classifications

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

The merchant fleet statistics can be regarded as exhaustive and reliable. They are based on the transport register and the register of ships. The keeping of these registers is based on the Act on Transport Services and the Register of Ships Act.

Timeliness

The monthly merchant fleet statistics are published around one week from the end of the statistical reference month on Statistics Finland’s web pages. The annual merchant fleet statistics are published at the end of February following the statistical reference year and they correspond to the register of ships at the end of the statistical reference year.

Completeness

The data are available on the entire Finnish registered merchant fleet.

Comparability

Coherence and comparability

The statistics are internationally comparable.

Comparability - geographical

The statistics are internationally comparable.

Comparability - over time

The length of the comparable time series is 27 years.

Until 1993, Finland's regular merchant fleet comprised vessels according to the old Register of Ships Act (211/1927), that is, vessels with a net tonnage of at least 19. When comparing the regular merchant fleet (length of 15 m or more) according to the new Register of Ships Act (512/1993) with that of the old Register of Ships Act, the increase was 94 ships and the corresponding increase in gross tonnage only 8,065 in 1993.

Coherence - sub-annual and annual statistics

The data of monthly and annual releases are coherent with each other.

Source data and data collections

Source data

The merchant fleet statistics contain data on all vessels registered in Finland. The data of the statistics are obtained from vessel data in the transport register maintained by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom in accordance with the Act on Transport Services (320/2017) and from data in the register of ships maintained by the State Department of Åland in accordance with the Register of Ships Act (512/1993). All Finnish vessels with a length of 15 m or more, engaged in merchant shipping must be registered in the transport register or register of ships. In the registers mentioned above, ships with a length of 10 m or more which are engaged in merchant shipping may, at the owner's request, also be entered.

Such vessels in the transport register or register of ships, which can be granted subsidies from State funds to improve competitiveness are entered in the Register of Merchant Vessels upon application.

Data collection

All data on the merchant fleet are obtained from vessel data in the transport register maintained by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom in accordance with the Act on Transport Services (320/2017) and from data in the register of ships maintained by the State Department of Åland in accordance with the Register of Ships Act (512/1993). The above-mentioned registers contain data on all vessels registered in Finland. The place of registration of a vessel is determined according to the domicile reported by the owner. Regarding Mainland Finland, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom acts as controller of the register of ships and regarding Åland, the State Department of Åland.

Frequency of data collection

The data are drawn monthly from the transport register and the register of ships.

Cost and burden

The data are drawn from a register, so no actual response burden.

Methods

Statistical processing

Data reception, tabulation, writing the publication and creation and publication of publication tables and figures.

Data compilation

The statistics are based on register data, so they are not edited in the statistical production process. However, new data variables are derived from the data.

Data validation

The data are checked for internal coherence by means of register entries.

Documentation on methodology

The data are register data and are tabulated according to established rules on the level of, for example, vessel type, ice class and size category.

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland

Contact organisation unit

Social Statistics

Institutional mandate

The compilation of statistics is guided by the general act of the national statistical service, the Statistics Act (280/2004, amend. 361/2013). Only the necessary data that are not available from administrative data sources are collected from data suppliers. Index series are published so that no individual enterprise's data or development can be deduced from them.

Legal acts and other agreements

The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics. 

Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.  

Further information: Statistical legislation 

Confidentiality - policy

The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable. 

Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi) 

Confidentiality - data treatment

The data of the statistics are protected with careful table design.

Release policy

Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service. 

Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland 

Data sharing

The latest monthly data on the merchant fleet and the data of the annual publication are available on the home page of the statistics on the day of their release. The data of the statistics are also available in Statistics Finland's StatFin database service.

Accessibility and clarity

Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.   

In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases. 

Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.   

Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service. 

Micro-data access

Unit-level research data can be formed from the data.

Data revision - policy

Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions. 

The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before. 

Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data. 

Relevance

The table design of the merchant fleet tries to take into account the needs of the users and the data can be examined with respect to different variables. Variables are added according to the wishes of users.

User needs

The merchant fleet statistics aim to serve decision-makers in shipping as well as possible by producing data for planning, monitoring, supervision and decision-making for their use. In addition, manufacturing, trade, research and the shipping business need statistical data concerning the merchant fleet.

Quality assessment

The statistics are based on the transport register and the register of ships. The keeping of these registers is based on the Act on Transport Services and the Register of Ships Act.

Quality assurance

Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. 

Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi) 

User access

Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published. 

Further information: Publication principles for statistics 

Unless otherwise separately stated in connection with the product, data or service concerned, Statistics Finland is the producer of the data and the owner of the copyright. The terms of use for statistical data. 

Statistical experts

Henna Ylimaa
Senior Statistician
029 551 3832

The documentation released before 5.4.2022 can be found on the archive pages of the statistics.

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