Front Page: Tieto Traficom
Front Page: Tieto Traficom

Border crossings

The situational picture of traffic and transport at Finland’s border crossings is primarily updated once a year. The situational picture also provides information about future needs and forecasts. The information is produced by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. The information is part of the strategic situational picture of the Finnish transport network.

Border crossing traffic and transports

In 2017–2019, 600,000 passengers on average per year travelled by train through the Vainikkala border station. No scheduled passenger trains ran through other border stations. According to the national traffic forecast, the number of passengers will increase to 625,000 passengers per year by 2030.
The average railway network goods transport volumes in border stations in 2017–2019 and the forecasts according to the national traffic forecast for 2030 were:

  • Vainikkala 7.7 million tonnes -> 6.5 million tonnes
  • Vartius 4.9 million tonnes -> 6.4 million tonnes
  • Imatra 2.2 million tonnes -> 2.3 million tonnes
  • Niirala 0.7 million tonnes -> 1.1 million tonnes
  • Tornio 0.02 million tonnes (no forecast).

The Tornio border station is clearly the busiest border station in road transport in terms of both passenger vehicles and vans and heavy-duty transports. Other busy border stations include Nuijamaa and Vaalimaa. Detailed numbers of vehicles are provided in the following graph.  

Effects of COVID-19 on border crossings

As of March 2020, some border crossings have been temporarily closed and their traffic has been restricted. This has had significant effects on the number of journeys and transports.

In 2020, approximately 120,000 passengers travelled by train through the Vainikkala border station, which was nearly 80% less compared to 2019. In goods transport, however, railway transport volumes increased in 2020 on all border stations. Goods transports increased by approximately 5% in total compared to 2019.
In road transport, the number of vehicles decreased on all border stations in 2020 compared to 2019:

  • the total number of trucks and buses decreased by approximately 15%
  • the total number of passenger vehicles and vans decreased by approximately 58%
  • the total number of vehicles decreased by approximately 55%.

Situational picture of border crossings 2032

Once the ongoing development projects are completed, border crossings will mainly meet future needs, unless unexpected major changes occur in traffic. There is no need for new border crossings; the current network is sufficient well into the future.

In eastern Finland, shopping travel causes congestion at individual border crossings from time to time. Congestion is caused by customs operations, in particular. The borders with Sweden and Norway are practically internal borders, and people cross the border daily to run errands or commute, especially to and from Sweden.

Border crossings must be developed in cooperation with the neighbouring countries. Establishing a functional dialogue with the Russian counterpart is challenging, however.