Shipment of goods declined in 2016

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2016, the number of international traffic passengers served by Estonian ports increased by 4%, but the freight volume of ports in tonnes decreased by 4% compared to the previous year.

Last year, the year of marine culture, a record number of passengers used Estonian ports. In 2016, 10.5 million passengers visited Estonian ports by international transport, which is 4% more than in 2015. The growth was mainly due to the increase in the number of passengers travelling between Estonia and Finland, where 8.8 million passengers were served. 164,000 more passengers arrived from Finland and 160,000 more passengers departed to Finland compared to 2015. Between Estonia and Sweden 1.2 million sea passengers were transported, i.e. 3% more passengers compared to the previous year. 498,200 cruise passengers arrived by sea, i.e. 1% more than the year before. 7.7 million passengers used Estonian ships in international sea traffic.

The number of passenger ship calls at Estonian ports in international sea traffic was around 6,250, i.e. 4% more passenger ships (incl. ro-ro passenger ships) than in 2015, and around the same number of cruise ships (285) called at Estonian ports as in 2015. On international routes around 1.9 million vehicles (excl. transit vehicles) were served by ports; 71% were passenger cars and 25% were trucks and trailers.

On main national ship lines around 2.3 million passengers were transported, which is about as much as in 2015. On those lines over 400 ship trips more were made than in 2015. In 2015, there were over 14,800 trips and, in 2016, over 15,200 trips. On Estonian national lines approximately 933,700 vehicles were served by ports.

In 2016, Estonian ports handled 33.6 million tonnes of cargo, which is 4% less, i.e. 1.3 million tonnes less, than a year earlier. 8% less goods were loaded and 7% more goods were unloaded than in 2015. In 2016, around the same number of cargo ships called at Estonian ports as in 2015. The average gross tonnage of cargo vessels totalled about 11,000.

Transportation of goods through the ports declined last year due to a decrease in transit cargo. Transit goods were loaded and unloaded in ports in the amount of 18.1 million tonnes, which is 11% less than in 2015. 12.7 million tonnes of transit cargo were loaded and 5.4 million tonnes unloaded at Estonian ports. Transit cargo loading fell by 18%, but transit cargo unloading increased by 14%. The most frequently handled group of transit goods loaded at Estonian ports was refined petroleum products (7.5 million tonnes), although the transport of these products decreased by a third in a year. The loading of chemicals and chemical products as transit goods amounted to 4.9 million tonnes, which is 17% more than the year before. The most frequently handled group of transit goods unloaded at Estonian ports was also refined petroleum products (4.5 million tonnes), which is 14% more than in 2015.

9.9 million tonnes of goods were transported abroad through ports and 5.6 million tonnes of goods arrived at Estonian ports – 9% and 2% more than in 2015, respectively. Goods transported abroad were mainly products of agriculture and forestry (3.2 million tonnes), a mixture of types of goods transported together (2.9 million tonnes) and products of mining and quarrying (1 million tonnes). Goods that arrived at Estonian ports included primarily a mixture of types of goods transported together (2.8 million tonnes) and products of mining and quarrying (1.4 million tonnes).

Sea container transportation through ports (expressed in TEUs) decreased by 2% compared to the previous year amounting to about 204,400 TEUs in 2016. The number of containers shipped out of Estonian ports on vessels was about 100,300 TEUs and the number received at Estonian ports was 104,100 TEUs.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Tallinn to buy 20 Volvo hybrid buses

An agreement was signed on Nov.23, 2016 according to which Volvo will supply the City of Tallinn with 20 diesel-electric hybrid buses for a total of 6.2 million euros.

Volvo was the manufacturer of the hybrid buses previously acquired by the Estonian capital as well. In 2015, the city’s public transport company TLT bought 24 hybrid buses from Volvo to replace trolleybuses on routes 6 and 7, which were subsequently reassigned as routes 42 and 43.

The new batch of hybrid buses will be delivered in the second quarter of 2017.

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Tallinn-Tartu trip to take under two hours by train

Extensive repairwork on the railway connnecting Tallinn and Tartu is scheduled to be completed soon, after which a trip via train between Estonia’s two biggest cities will shorten to under two hours in length.

Beginning Dec. 4, or next Sunday, Elron will no longer have to employ connecting shuttle buses between Tallinn-Rapla and Tapa-Tartu.

On Dec. 11, however, Elron will be launching a new train schedule which will include one additional express train departure each on its Tallinn-Tartu and Tartu-Tallinn routes.

According to the new schedule, the trip should take less than two hours via express train, a decrease from its current average time of two hours and ten minutes; its local trains, which stop at all stations along the route, are also slated to begin making the trip faster than their current approximate time of two hours and 40 minutes.

Source: ERR News

Self-driving buses on Tallinn streets next July

At least two small self-driving buses are to be put into service in Tallinn at the start of Estonia’s presidency of the EU next July, with the aim of showcasing Estonia as an innovation-oriented country.

Rapid developments are taking place in the field of self-driving vehicles, and the technology could potentially have a big influence on improving traffic safety, increasing regional mobility and saving the environment, the tender announcement said. The presidency of the EU offers a good opportunity to showcase Estonia as an innovation-oriented country and a pioneer in utilizing solutions with a big social impact.

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British Airways to fly to Tallinn starting March 2017

Beginning Mar. 28 next year, British Airways will fly the Tallinn-London route twice a week, Tallinn Airport announced on Nov.1, 2016.

The flights will be on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Tuesday flight will leave London at 8:00 a.m., and later in the day return to London, leaving Tallinn at 1:55 p.m.

The Saturday flight will leave London at 3:35 p.m., and again fly back from Tallinn to London at 9:35 p.m. Both flights will connect Tallinn to London Heathrow Airport.

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Bus drivers’ minimum wage to rise 18 pct in 3 years

Following a year of negotiations, the Estonian Transport and Road Workers Trade Union (ETTA) and the Union of Estonian Automobile Enterprises arrived at a a sectoral agreement that will raise bus drivers’ minimum monthly income by 18 percent to 945 euros in three years.

Under the agreement concluded, bus drivers’ minimum monthly income and hourly wage, respectively, will increase to 835 and 3.50 euros next year, 895 and 3.75 euros in 2018, up to 945 and four euros in 2019.

ETTA’s initial demand was for bus drivers’ minimum monthly income to be increased from 800 to 900 euros immediately.

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40 km of Tallinn-Tartu highway to be widened to four lanes

According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, work on widening Tallinn-Tartu Highway to four lanes between the villages of Kose and Mäo is underway and construction work will begin next summer.

The project plan is currently being prepared for a 25-kilometer stretch of the new road from Kose to Võõbu. When the plan is completed, a procurement tender to find the builder will be announced, likely sometime during the first half of next year. Construction on the project is expected to start during the second half of the year.

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