The Baltic Sea, the largest brackish body of water in the
world, has always been an important sea route connecting
the Nordic countries and Russia to continental Europe.
Surrounded by nine countries, it also has some of the
densest maritime traffic in the world. In addition, the
Baltic Sea has proved to be an important inter-modal link
between various logistical chains, and moreover, a link
to Russia. The Baltic Sea has also served a crucial role
as a route for the gas pipeline from Russia to Europe.
During recent decades, there has been a significant
increase in maritime traffic, specifically in container
vessel traffic throughout the world. The traffic in the
Baltic area has not only increased, but the nature of the
traffic has also changed rapidly. Today, many of the
shipping routes consist of frequent traffic, where fast
ships are running between seaports on a fixed timetable.
There are also certain routes that have dense passenger
traffic, e.g., Helsinki-Stockholm and Helsinki-Tallinn.
Perhaps the most interesting development, however, has
been the rapid development of Baltic and Russian
seaports: old ports have been rehabilitated, new
terminals and berths are under construction. One tendency
has been the increase of oil transportation, especially
in the Gulf of Finland (GOF).
This report contains an analysis of the current maritime
traffic of the Baltic Sea. A special attention is focused
on the oil transportation and the forecast of the future
development. The main ports and their basic development
plans are also presented. The work was funded by the
Finnish Environment Institute and the Finnish Ministry of
Transport and Communications.
|Series||VTT Research Report|
- Baltic Sea
- oil transportation
- maritime traffic
- port development