Sources and definitions
Road traffic in the national road network
The Swedish Transport Administration publishes weekly changes in traffic in the entire national road network, which includes highways and major roads in the major cities. Neither municipal nor private roads are included in the figure. Approximately 3/4 of the traffic on the Swedish roads is normally carried out in the national road network. Weekly increases are published for total traffic and for heavy traffic (i.e. heavy goods vehicles and buses). Please note that the percentage changes calculated by the Swedish Transport Administration are stated with confidence intervals on their website.
The traffic work is the sum of all kilometres driven by vehicles in a given road network for a given period of time, one week in this case. The road network consists of road sections. The traffic work (= the number of kilometres travelled) on a stretch of a road is the number of vehicles (traffic flow) that crosses the distance multiplied by the length of the stretch of the road. The traffic work for the entire road network is obtained by summing the traffic work of each section. In order to determine how the traffic work changes, it is sufficient to calculate how the traffic flow, i.e. the number of passing vehicles, changes. This is because there are small changes in the stretches of the road network from one year to another. To calculate how the traffic flow changes, the road sections are divided into groups so that they have approximately the same traffic flow and are homogeneous in terms of properties that can be assumed to influence traffic development. In each such group, a location is randomly selected where a traffic measurement station is installed. For each such traffic measurement station, the relative change in traffic flow is calculated and weighed together to a relative traffic flow change for the entire road network. Since the road network is assumed to be approximately the same, the relative change in traffic flow will correspond to the relative change in traffic, the number of kilometres travelled.
There are over 80 traffic measurement stations in Sweden. The Swedish Transport Administration takes into account calendar effects and compares eg. Easter week 2019 with Easter week the year before, for direct comparability. The same applies to the whole regular week before Easter and the week after Easter. For more on the weekly traffic changes on state roads, see the Swedish Transport Administration's website.
Passing vehicles at congestion tax stations
To drive in and out of central Stockholm and Gothenburg by passenger car, truck or light buses, vehicle owners pay a congestion tax every time they pass a pay station. The Swedish Transport Agency is responsible for deciding on congestion tax on passes at pay stations. We have received information from them about the total number of vehicles captured by the measuring stations, during taxable times, even by vehicles that are exempt from tax. In Stockholm there are 20 pay stations and in Gothenburg 36.
Congestion tax is paid per passing vehicle during Monday-Friday, all months except for July (however, from 2020, passing vehicles are taxed the first week of July in Stockholm). Exceptions to tax are nights, certain holidays and certain vehicles (emergency vehicles, buses with a total weight of at least 14 tonnes, diplomat registered vehicles, motorcycles and military vehicles). The size of the tax varies over the day, in Stockholm in the range of SEK 11–45 per passage in the peak season that prevails at the time of writing. In the off-season, the fee varies in the range of SEK 11–35. The highway Essingeleden has special amounts. In Gothenburg, the tax is between SEK 9 and 22. There is a maximum fare which, at the most expensive hours, corresponds to three passing vehicles per day in Stockholm and in Gothenburg just under three passing vehicles per day. Gothenburg also has a multi-passage rule which means that a car that passes several pay stations within 60 minutes is only taxed once. The amount to be paid then is the highest amount of those passages. More than 40 per cent of all Gothenburg passing vehicles are covered by the multi-passage rule.
The Swedish Transport Agency is responsible for administering congestion taxes and the measuring stations measure all vehicles that pass throughout the day and they also measure those vehicles that are exempted from congestion tax. The number of passing vehicles that we present in Transport indicators are passing vehicles identified as a passenger car, truck (light or heavy) or bus. There are more passing vehicles than that, passing vehicles where the system failed to identify and determine which type of vehicle that passed, including passing vehicles where the system caught motorcycles, mopeds, etc. (which are not taxable). If we compare the total of the passing vehicles we received data for (passenger car + truck + bus) with the total number of passing vehicles presented on the Swedish Transport Agency's website, then the sum of the data we use is about 98 percent of the total in both Gothenburg and Stockholm. This means that about 2 percent of the total number of passing vehicles are mopeds, motorcycles and tax-exempt vehicles that cannot be categorized as a passenger car, truck or bus.
All the monthly data for 2020 that we present in Transport Mode have been ”corrected” to correspond to the same number of days with congestion tax that were valid during the same month in 2019. For example, in March 2020, there were 22 days with congestion tax compared to 21 days in March 2019. Therefore, the number of passing vehicles is "corrected" during March 2020 by multiplying by the quota with 21/22. In this way, the number of passes in March 2020 will be comparable to the number in March 2019. In April 2020, Gothenburg had 18 days with taxes and Stockholm 20 days due to new rules on the number of taxed days. Both cities had 18 days with taxes in 2019 and the 2020 data for April for Stockholm are "corrected" by the ratio 18/20.
So far, no congestion tax has been levied during the month of July, but in July 2020, congestion tax was introduced in Stockholm, the first five weekdays except Saturday. As no tax was levied in July 2019, there is no comparison year for this information and the month of July is therefore omitted in figures and text on congestion taxes. For more information on congestion taxes, see the Swedish Transport Agency's website.
The data source used in the rail section is the Swedish Transport Administration data warehouse for monitoring the train traffic. The data includes traffic on the State-owned rail infrastructure, the Inland line, the Arlanda line and the Swedish part of the Oresund Bridge. In Transport Indicators we only include passenger and freight trains. Other trains, such as service trains that do not intend to transport goods or passengers, are excluded. The information in the data warehouse is subject to minor corrections, which is also considered.
Three indicators are used to describe the development of rail traffic. For passenger trains, train-kilometres and the average length of trains is used. A train-kilometre is representing the movement of a train over one kilometre. For freight trains, gross-gross tonne-kilometre hauled is used to also reflect the amount of goods transported. Gross-gross tonne-kilometre hauled of a train is calculated as the weight of the train (including the weight of the goods) multiplied by the running distance in kilometres.
In the indicators for cross-border traffic, number of passenger and freight trains are also presented. The measuring points on the Swedish side of the border are not always exactly at the transition between Norway and Sweden, which means that we can´t be certain or not if passenger trains have travelled across the national border. For freight trains to and from Norway, each border crossing is counted as one train. This means that transit traffic from Norway to Norway through Sweden counts as two trains.
Train-kilometres and the average length of passenger trains are presented by sort of train:
Passenger trains intended to transport passengers locally. Trains are usually advertised as airport or commuter trains.
Passenger trains intended to transport passengers regionally. Trains are usually advertised as regional trains.
Passenger trains intended to transport passengers interregional. Trains are usually advertised as long-distance, night or high-speed trains.
The classification in sort of train is made by the train operators in consultation with the Swedish Transport Administration and intends to reflect both the train's transport task and technical characteristics. Sort of train are missing for approximately one percent of all train-kilometres for passenger trains.
The information on train traffic presented in the Transport Indicators is taken directly from the Swedish Transport Administration and has not been processed for any quality-enhancing purpose. Therefore, the data should be used primarily as an indicator of traffic development. The absolute levels contain greater uncertainty. Previous studies show that data on train-kilometres are of high quality, while data on gross-gross tonne-kilometres hauled are more uncertain, although the quality has improved over time.
Average train length is based on data reported by the railway companies to the Swedish Transport Administration. Less than 0.5 percent of all passenger trains do not have a record of train length. No compensation for missing values is made.
As of calendar week 24, Traffic Analysis does not report passenger ship callings. The data source on maritime traffic was found to have quality issues regarding passenger ship callings. More specifically, we discovered an undercoverage of ferry traffic, in particular in the port of Helsingborg. After correspondence with the data provider, the problem could be solved for upcoming data collection, but not retrospectively. This makes it impossible to compare the traffic between 2019 and 2020.
The method of measuring callings is based on a combination of two different data sources. Firstly, the AIS data that the vessels transmit continuously during voyage and secondly, Lloyd´s Agency Network which confirms that a vessel has entered a certain port. Data from these two sources are coordinated and can be retrieved from the Seasearcher data portal (paid service).
From Seasearcher we have searched all vessel callings to 40 Swedish ports. The vessels that do not use AIS equipment are not included in the sample. he 40 ports are selected according to their level of managed freight volumes in the official statistical product Shipping goods, arranged to include the largest ports. Some ports where data do not achieve sufficient quality are excluded from the mentioned order. The 40 ports we have included in the sample handle around 80 percent of the freight volume in Swedish ports.
We only include ship types that belong to cargo vessels. We therefore exclude vessel types such as passenger vessels (also the vessel type passenger ro/ro in Seasearcher is excluded but the vessel type ro/ro in Seasearcher is included), yachts, tugboats, icebreakers, fishing vessels and other types.
Coverage in the number of callings has improved after November 2019, so there may be an underestimation of the number of callings in 2019. We do not know anything about the cargo on board the vessels. In Transport indicators we only present the number of callings, nothing about loaded / unloaded freight volumes.
The Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (LFV) is responsible for air traffic management in Sweden and produces statistics on the number of air movements to and from Swedish airports. The air movements can be divided into take-offs and landings, in domestic and international flights, to and from different countries and more. In addition, overflights in Swedish airspace is also a type of air movement. The statistics that LFV produces show the number of air movements per day and per week. The data is based on Eurocontrol's database. It covers all registered air movements, i.e. all traffic covered by air traffic control.
In Transport indicators, the number of domestic landings and the number of international take-offs and landings combined, at Swedish airports, is used as indicators of Swedish air traffic. We call these indicators domestic and international flights. To this is added overflights in Swedish airspace.
The Swedish Transport Agency collects information from Swedish airports about the number of passengers and the amount of cargo by air, which is, among other things, the basis for the Transport Analysis's official statistics on aviation. In 2019, there was a large non-response in reported freight volumes. Therefore, we make the comparison of the last month for freight with the corresponding month 2018, while that for passengers is done with 2019.
Passing road vehicles on the Öresund Bridge are presented weekly by the Öresundsbro Konsortiet. The vehicle types used by the Öresundsbro Konsortiet do not fully coincide with the vehicle types used in e.g. our official statistics on vehicles. We have "translated" the concepts into our traditional concepts as seen below. As the categories are defined for the Öresund Bridge, e.g. a passenger car with a caravan will in Transport indicators be regarded an LGV.
- Cars are in Transport indicators referred to as passenger cars.
- Cars with trailers, minibuses etc. incl. trucks and vans 6-9 meters are in Transport indicators referred to as LGV:s (incl. cars with caravan). Please observe that cars with caravans are included in this category.
- Trucks from 9 meters are in Transport indicators called heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
Motorcycles and buses have less than one percent each of all passages across the bridge and are omitted from the figure.
The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency publishes monthly data on the amount of road traffic at the border between Finland and Sweden. Road vehicle traffic at land border crossing-points is collected in an automatic traffic counting system and data on some border crossing-points have been obtained from the Finnish Customs. The number of passing vehicles is presented for light traffic (passenger and package cars) and heavy traffic (trucks and buses).
Public transport and passenger mobility
It is mandatory for all companies that operate scheduled public transport to report timetables in advance per week to Samtrafiken AB. It includes public transport by road, rail and water. We collect timetables from Samtrafiken AB for a sample of weeks and calculate the number of departures made from the bus stops, stations or harbours. A bus that enters 20 stops including start and end stops makes 19 departures (there is no departure from the final stop).
The Swedish National Travel Survey is a sample survey. Sampling is made among all persons aged 6–84 years and who live in Sweden. The 2019 sample comprised just over 42,000 people. The response rate was 29 percent, which corresponds to just over 12,000 respondents. In order to avoid bias, estimates are calculated stratified by county, age group and gender. This means that the observations in the survey are given different enumeration weights.
Each respondent describes their trips during a predetermined measurement day. In order for the survey to capture the entire year's travel, the sample participants were distributed over all the days of the year. Shortly before the respective survey person's measurement day, a missive with information about the survey was sent out. The sample person was asked there to answer the questionnaire either via the accompanying paper questionnaire or to log in and respond via a web survey. The majority of respondents answer via the paper questionnaire (three out of four).
A journey is a sequence of trips. A journey terminates when the respondent reaches her workplace, school, residence or temporary accommodation.
Other transport related indicators
We refer to sources in the text, but the areas that need a more detailed description follow below.
Statistics Sweden produces a monthly consumption indicator that should reflect the purpose of consumption according to the national accounts, ie Households' consumption expenditure excluding foreign items.For a detailed description of the purpose of consumption, reference is made to the national accounts. Turnover statistics are the main indicator for measuring the monthly private consumption development. Turnover statistics cover about 60 percent of the consumption. The consumer price index is used to convert consumption in current prices into constant prices. When the monthly indicator of household consumption is published for a new month, the index for previous months is also revised. Normally, the material is revised five months back. This is mainly because new and revised information has been received.
Development of sales
Statistics Sweden reports the development of sales (turnover) for all sectors based, on information from the VAT register. The publication takes place to depict the effects of the corona crisis, outside ordinary production and is categorized as so-called temporary statistics. The statistics have been compiled to give a current picture of the economic situation in the business sector. Sales development is based on VAT data, which for March has been supplemented with data such as the Production Value Index (PVI), which in turn is based on a survey. The statistics are neither fixed price nor working day adjusted. In March, there is a calendar effect that would have slowed sales growth in 2020 when compared to last year. Statistics Sweden considers that the statistics hold high quality for the entire business community and for the sub-sectors of goods industry and services. For individual sectors, the uncertainty is greater, but Transport Analysis believes that this is the best estimate of the development of sales available.
Industry codes (SNI-codes)
The Swedish Standard Industrial Classification (SNI) is used to classify enterprises and workplaces according to the activity carried out. SNI is important for economic statistics, among other things. SNI 2007 is the standard that applies from the year 2008. For a description of SNI codes, see also Statistics Sweden's website (https://www.scb.se/en/documentation/classifications-and-standards/swedish-standard-industrial-classification-sni/).
The SNI codes used for different indicators in Transport indicators are as follows. The reason for not using the same SNI codes for all indicators is that statistics in some cases are not available to us at a more detailed level.
Sales development: Indicators for SNI codes 491 – 492, 4931, 4932, 494, 50, 51 and 52.
Bankruptcies: Indicator for the aggregate Transportation and storage (SNI codes 49–53).
Notices: Indicators for SNI codes 49 – 53. The aggregate of the four codes is in the SNI classification standard called Transportation and storage.
Short-time work: Indicators for SNI codes 49 – 53. The aggregate of the four codes is in the SNI classification standard called Transportation and storage.