23.2.2024 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

Statistics on goods transport by road describe the transport activity of lorries registered in Finland for both private and licensed transport in Finland and abroad. International transport refers to transportation from Finland abroad (exports), from abroad to Finland (imports), from abroad to another foreign country (crosstrade) and within a foreign country (cabotage).

The statistical unit is a lorry. It is a question of a sample survey conducted quarterly as an electronic inquiry. Each year, the inquiry is addressed to altogether 10,000 lorry owners asking them to provide data on their lorries and their use over three or four consecutive survey days. The results of the statistics derive from the data obtained with this inquiry about lorry trips, which are then inflated with statistical calculation methods to correspond with the whole sampling frame and quarter.

The data of the statistics comply with Regulation (EU) No 70/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on statistical returns in respect of the carriage of goods by road and are comparable with the statistics of other EU countries.

Statistical population

The population of the statistics is formed by lorries registered in Finland with a total weight of over 3.5 tonnes. Excluded from the survey are military vehicles and lorries that are not primarily intended for goods transport (e.g. museum vehicles and special vehicles). Lorries registered in Åland are not included in the statistics. The statistical unit is a lorry.

The statistics are based on a sample survey. The sample is drawn from the transport register of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. The sample is divided into eight strata according to the use of lorry (private/licensed), type of lorry and total weight category.

Statistical unit

The statistical unit is a lorry.

Unit of measure

The measurement unit of volume of goods is tonne, the measurement unit of traffic performance kilometre, the measurement unit of transport performance is tonne-kilometre.

Reference period

The statistics are published quarterly and a more detailed summary is made of annual data.

Reference area

The data for the statistics are produced on the level of the whole country. The most important data are produced on the level of regions. The municipality level is only possible in special cases with combined annual data.

Sector coverage

The statistics are based on a sample survey. The sample is drawn from the transport register of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. The sample is divided into eight strata according to the use of lorry (private/licensed), type of lorry and total weight category. The data of the statistics are based on the data obtained as responses to the sample survey on lorry trips during the survey period. The sample is weighted into professional trailer combinations because the significance of these lorries is highest in estimating transport performance.

Time coverage

Statistics Finland has been producing statistics on goods transport by road since 1995. As of the beginning of 2011, the statistics on goods transport by road have been compiled by a revised methods in respect of both domestic and international transport. The data concerning domestic transport for the years 2001 to 2010 have been recalculated with the new method. The data are not comparable with previously released data calculated with the old method.

Frequency of dissemination

The statistics are published quarterly and a more comprehensive annual release is published on annual data.

Concepts

Articulated vehicle

Goods road motor vehicle with trailer or trailers.

Cabotage transport

Transport within one country with a vehicle registered in another country.

Cross-trade transport

Transport performed by a road motor vehicle registered in one country between a place of loading in a second country and a place of unloading in a third country. Such transport may involve transit through one or more additional country or countries.

Dangerous goods

Dangerous goods are substances that may cause damage to people, property or the environment due to their corrosive, flammable, explosive, spontaneously combustible, toxic, oxidising, radioactive, biological, water reactive or other nature.

Floor area within vehicle body

Maximum floor area within the vehicle body (e.g. measured in square metres) available for the carriage of goods.

Foreign road vehicle

A road vehicle registered in a country other than the reporting country and bearing registration plates of that foreign country.

Goods road motor vehicle

Any single road motor vehicle designed to carry goods (e.g. a lorry), or any coupled combination of road vehicles designed to carry goods, (i.e. lorry with trailer(s), or road tractor with semi-trailer and with or without trailer).

Goods road vehicle

Road vehicle designed, exclusively or primarily, to carry goods.

Included are:
a) Light goods road vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of not more than 3 500 kg, designed exclusively or primarily, to carry goods, e.g. vans and pick-ups

b) Heavy goods road vehicles with a gross vehicle weight above 3 500 kg, designed, exclusively or primarily, to carry goods

c) Road tractors

d) Agricultural tractors permitted to use roads open to public traffic.

Gross vehicle weight

Total of the weight of the vehicle (or combination of vehicles) including its load when stationary and ready for the road declared permissible by the competent authority of the country of registration.

This includes the weight of the driver and the maximum number of persons permitted to be carried.

Heavy goods road vehicle

Goods road vehicle with a gross vehicle weight above 3 500 kg, designed, exclusively or primarily, to carry goods.

International road transport

Transport from Finland to abroad and from abroad to Finland, between third countries, and cabotage.

Licensed transport

Transportation of people or goods against a fee (for hire or reward). Practising of the transportation is subject to a permission from a licensing authority.

Light goods road vehicle

Goods road vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of not more than 3 500 kg, designed, exclusively or primarily, to carry goods.

Included are vans designed for and used primarily for transport of goods, pick-ups and small lorries with a gross vehicle weight of not more than 3 500 kg.

Load capacity

Maximum weight of goods declared permissible by the competent authority of the country of registration of the vehicle (difference between gross weight and own weight).

Load volume

Maximum volume available in the vehicle (e.g. measured in cubic metres) for the carriage of goods.

Loading ratio

Weight of load relative to the load capacity of a lorry.

Lorry / truck

Rigid road motor vehicle designed, exclusively or primarily, to carry goods. Gross weight in excess of 3,500 kg.

National road transport

Road transport between two places (a place of loading/embarkation and a place of unloading/disembarkation) located in Finland with vehicles registered in Finland for private and licensed transport (for hire or reward). The trip may include transit in the area of another country.

Place of loading

The place taken into account for loading is the place where the goods were loaded on a goods road motor vehicle or where the road tractor has been changed.

Place of unloading

The place taken into account is the place where the goods were unloaded from a goods road motor vehicle or where the road tractor has been changed.

Road goods transport enterprise

Road transport enterprise offering and performing services in the transport of goods, whose main activity in the field of road transport, according to value-added, is road goods transport.

Road tractor

Road motor vehicle designed, exclusively or primarily, to haul other road vehicles which are not power-driven (mainly semi-trailers).

Agricultural tractors are excluded.

Road train

Goods road motor vehicle coupled to a trailer.

Articulated vehicle with a further trailer attached is included.

Semi-trailer

Goods road vehicle with no front axle designed in such way that part of the vehicle and a substantial part of its loaded weight rests on a road tractor.

Swap body

A freight-carrying unit optimised to road vehicle dimensions and fitted with handling devices for transfer between modes, usually road/rail.

Tonne-kilometre

Tonne-kilometre describes the volume of transport, and is obtained as a product of transported volume of goods (tonnes) and length of transport journey (kilometres).

Tonne-kilometre by road

Unit of measurement of goods transport which represents the transport of one tonne by road over one kilometre.

The distance to be taken into consideration is the distance actually run.

Transit transport

Transit transport refers to transport of a load through one country while the places of departure and destination are in another country or countries and the load is transported through the transit country without loading or unloading.

Transit transport by road

Transit transport refers to through passage transport where the points of departure and destination are in another country or other countries and the transport passes through the territory of the transit country without loading of unloading.

Transport for hire or reward

Transportation of people or goods for a fee, i.e. transportation subject to a licence.

Transport on own account

Transport which is not for hire or reward.

Such transport is the movement by an enterprise of its own staff or freight without any associated financial transaction. Although individual persons may undertake such transport, it is not included here.

Type of cargo

Type of cargo indicates the type of container in which goods are transported.

Vehicle-kilometre

Total number of kilometres driven by one vehicle class or a specified subgroup over a specified time period, usually twelve months.

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

The statistics are based on a sample survey. For the whole country, a 95 per cent confidence interval is used for the estimates of goods volume, transport performance and traffic performance. Standard error grows at a more detailed level.

Timeliness

The results are published quarterly approximately 12 weeks from the end of the survey period.

Punctuality

The data are delivered according to the target date.

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

The sample of the statistics is divided by region in the same proportion based on the number of lorries. The standard error of the sample grows at the level of regions due to the low number of observations. The data of the statistics are comparable with corresponding statistics of other EU countries.

Comparability - over time

Statistics Finland has been producing statistics on goods transport by road since 1995. As of the beginning of 2011, the statistics on goods transport by road have been compiled by a revised methods in respect of both domestic and international transport. The data concerning domestic transport for the years 2001 to 2010 have been recalculated with the new method. The data are not comparable with previously released data calculated with the old method.

Coherence - cross domain

Statistics Finland's statistics on goods transport by road are the only regularly produced report on goods transport by road in Finland. The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency measures the transport performance of heavy vehicles regularly on the road network, but the statistics of the agency comprise buses and coaches, foreign lorries and lorries not suitable for goods transport, which are excluded from the sampling frame used by Statistics Finland. For this reason, the transport performance reported by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency is bigger than that reported by Statistics Finland.

Source data and data collections

Source data

The sample is drawn from the transport register of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. The sample frame has around 100,000 lorries intended for goods transport and the total size of the sample is 10,000 lorries per year. The quarterly sample (2,500) is allocated between the strata using Neyman's allocation.

Data collection

The data for the statistics are collected from lorry owners with electronic questionnaires. The data are collected in every quarter with the help of the actual inquiry and two new inquiries.

Frequency of data collection

The data are collected quarterly.

Methods

Data compilation

Before performing calculations with them the data are controlled for logic, and any erroneous cases are corrected. In the publication the results of the sample survey were raised with statistical methods to apply to the entire sample frame and over time to the whole quarter/year.

Data validation

The data obtained as responses are checked at Statistics Finland before they are entered into the database.

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland

Contact organisation unit

Business Statistics

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

Statistics Finland's official guidelines on the protection of tabulated business data are applied in protecting the statistics on goods transport by road. As in sample surveys, the basis for publishing the data is to not publish data on the statistical units belonging to the sample. In terms of protection, compliance with the threshold rule (3) is the primary procedure. As a rule, the data are published in basic statistical publications so that separate protection is not needed because the published data contain enough observations and no dominance appears (the largest enterprise owns under one per cent of all lorries in the basic group). If exceptions are made to this by increasing the level of detail of tabulation, for example, each situation is estimated separately.

Both tabulated data and microdata are supplied to Eurostat from the data. The tabulated data are at such a crude level that the cells have enough observations and no dominance appears, so there is no need for protection. Microdata are delivered so that all data enabling direct identification of an individual enterprise are removed from them.

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 quarterly data are available on the publication date of the release on Statistics Finland's homepages. 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.

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. 

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 frameworks complement each other. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are also 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

Ville Keränen
Senior Statistician
029 551 3609

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

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