For logisticians, Finland is probably a dream come true. After Singapore, the country offers the best conditions for logistics companies in a global comparison. That’s according to the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index. Finnish logistics companies generate around 23 billion euros in sales per year. That is around 8.5 percent of the total gross domestic product. 6.451 million euros of this is accounted for by freight transport, 398 by postal, express and courier services. The transport performance of road freight transport in 2021 was about 29.6-billion-ton kilometers.
Beautiful city of Helsinki. Photo: Freepik.
The contracts are shared among an estimated nearly 380 freight forwarding companies. 70 of them belong to the Finnish Freight Forwarding and Logistics Association (FIFFLA), the employer organization in the freight forwarding and logistics sector. This includes the largest forwarding and logistics companies in the country:
- DSV Road
- Nurminen Logistics Services
- Kuehne + Nagel
- Varova, Beweship
- United Parcel Service
- and PostNord
Together, the members generate a good 82 percent of total sales of around 4 billion euros in the freight forwarding sector.
The industry employs around 5,900 people. The logistics and transport sector as a whole employ around 120,000 people in about 20,000 companies. That is six percent of all employees in Finland.
The total value of goods exports and imports was around 131 billion euros in 2019. Freight forwarders handle a good half of the transport required for Finnish foreign trade. Important sectors include the electrical industry, petrochemicals, and machinery and vehicle manufacturing. Another important sector is shipbuilding.
Imports and exports are roughly balanced in Finland. The most important trading partners are Germany, Sweden and – before the war in Ukraine – Russia. In the Global Competitiveness Index, Finland currently ranks 11th out of 141 countries.
Traffic jams? No such thing!
With approximately 5.5 million inhabitants in an area almost as large as Germany with its 83 million, Finland is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe. Most people live in the south of the country, with the capital Helsinki and the major cities of Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa, and Turku. Lapland, in contrast, is almost deserted with 1.8 inhabitants per square kilometer. Together with a decent road network, this means that traffic jams are very rare in Finland.
Idyllic and almost uninhabited: rural Finland. Photo: Freepik.
In terms of road quality, Finland ranks 23rd in the world, just behind Germany. The country has 930 kilometers of highways. Continuous highways exist from Helsinki to Turku, Tampere and Lahti. The country’s road network comprises 78,189 kilometers, of which only 65 percent are paved. They cross 14,000 bridges. With its 1,045 meters, the one to the island of Replot is the longest. In addition, there are 26,000 kilometers of municipal roads and about 350,000 kilometers of private and service roads. State roads and main roads between cities account for 13,264 kilometers.
At 1,045 meters, the bridge to Replot Island is Finland’s longest. Photo: Adobe Stock.
In addition, the Road Administration maintains 41 free ferry routes in the archipelago, with lengths ranging from 169 meters to 9.5 kilometers. In winter, official ice roads are also established across the frozen lakes.
The maximum speed limit is 80 km/h in built-up areas, 100 km/h on roads and 120 km/h on freeways. Dipped headlights must also be used during the day.
By bus and train throughout the country
Finland’s rail network covers all major cities and many rural areas but cannot compete with bus services in the country. Most passenger trains originate or terminate at Helsinki Central Station. Major bus companies are:
- Pohjolan Liikenne
- and Savonlinja
The intercity lines are operated by several bus companies under the Expressbus brand.
What special features did you notice discovering Finland? Tell us in the comments!