Sweden: Transport Companies Hustle and Bustle

by | Aug 22, 2023 | Facts & Fun, Topstory | 0 comments

With a turnover of 10.3 billion euros, Swedish road haulage ranks 9th in Europe, between Romania and the Czech Republic. Trend: slightly downward. The market size of the industry has decreased by an average of 2.5 percent per year since 2028. Currently, the industry has more than 58,000 employees, an average of 4.7 per company. That is slightly more than five years ago. However, at 12,471, the number of companies has fallen by 1.6 percent compared with 2022. A characteristic feature of Sweden is its low concentration: no company has a market share of more than 5 percent.

In 2022, 477 million tons of goods were transported by truck on Swedish roads – spread over 43 million transports. Drivers covered 3.55 billion kilometers in the process.


Food travels particularly far

Most road kilometers are covered by general goods and bulk cargo, as well as food, beverages and tobacco products. Every year, 1.1 billion kilometers are driven with these in domestic transport. The product group earth, stone and sand only managed 164 million kilometers – and that with around seven million transports, while food, beverages and tobacco only managed 2.4 million transports. This is due to the large differences in transport distance among the product groups. Food, beverages and tobacco traveled the longest distances: 53 of the transports were at least 24 km long. For ore and other products from extraction, 88 percent of the transports were shorter than 16 kilometers.

On average, the heavy Swedish trucks were loaded with eleven tons of goods last year, covering just under 13 kilometers.
The foreign trucks had around 14 tons on them and thus traveled 42 kilometers. About one-seventh of the freight weight in domestic truck traffic is moved less than 1.6 kilometers (one mile), and 50 percent less than eight kilometers. Only about 10 percent of long-truck freight weight is driven 48 kilometers or more within the country.


The Oresund Bridge connects Sweden with Norway. Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se.


Safe roads

The Swedish road network covers about 575,000 kilometers, 140,000 of which are asphalted. Swedish road traffic is among the safest in the world. In 2013, there were 2.8 traffic fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, with a total of 272.

The roads have a good infrastructure of rest areas and are freeway-like on more heavily traveled routes. The highways primarily connect the three metropolitan areas around Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. A toll freeway runs over the Öresund Bridge.

The main roads are often alternating three-lane roads, with the middle lane being used as a passing lane for one direction at a time. Country roads and minor roads are often unpaved throughout Sweden.  


On the road in an intercity bus

Intercity buses are popular for passenger transport in Sweden. They are inexpensive and have a close-knit network. Additionally, boat taxis are a fun alternative.


From A to B with a taxi ride on the water. Photo: Credits: Anna Hållams/imagebank.sweden.se.
Because of the long coastline and many natural seaports, shipping also plays an important role. Major ports in Gothenburg, Malmö, Helsingborg, Trelleborg, Karlshamn, Karlskrona and the Stockholm area are vibrant transhipment points for people and goods.


What products have you already transported in Sweden – and how long have you been on the road with them?


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Stefan Kohl

Stefan Kohl

Every word a hit – Stefan has been writing for more than 20 years about this industry


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