The Baltic Region

2021 Vol. 13 №3

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The spatial structure of Baltic Sea ferry services



Ferry service is a transport system of regular routes which links areas separated by water bodies. Sometimes ferries are the only connection of an island and the mainland which is not rare in the Baltic Sea. A typical example of this is the island of Saaremaa. Ferry service is the backbone of cargo and passenger traffic in the Baltic Sea region.

This article aims to describe the spatial structure of the ferry service in the Baltic Sea. To this end, a statistical database on 101 ferry routes has been built with passenger and car traffic on each being calculated with an original methodology, which in its turn can be applied in analysing the spatial structure and traffic of ferry services in other regions. Baltic ferries account for over half of all European ferry-borne car and passenger traffic. The Baltic stands out as a region with exceptionally long ferry routes which sustain timber exports. The main cargo shipping country in the region is Sweden.


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