On Wednesday, Tallink Grupp published its passenger and cargo statistics for December and the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023. The statistics show a 4.5 percent increase on year in the total number of passengers carried across all the group's vessels.
In 2023, Tallink Grupp transported a total of 5,705,600 passengers across all the company's routes, which is a 4.5 percent increase from 2022's 5,462,085 passengers.
Passenger numbers increased on the company's current regular Estonia – Finland and Estonia – Sweden routes compared to 2022. However, they decreased on the Finland – Sweden routes due to fewer vessels operating on those routes throughout the full year than in 2022. From the second half of 2022, the company's Galaxy I vessel has been out of service on the Turku – Stockholm route and instead chartered out to the Netherlands.
The number of passenger vehicles transported in 2023 increased 2.6 percent compared to the previous year. A total of 840,881 passenger vehicles were transported on all the company's routes during the year, up from 819,229 passenger vehicles in 2022.
When it comes to cargo transportation, the competitive, weak economic environment and reduced capacity pressures in 2023 meant the number of cargo units carried by the company across all its routes decreased 20.9 percent on year. A total of 323,990 units were carried on the company's vessels in 2023, down from 409,769 units in 2022.
Tallink Grupp CEO Paavo Nõgene said the group's 2023 annual passenger statistics tell a story of slow and steady continuous recovery.
"If in 2022 we saw a sharp increase in passenger numbers across our routes with the last of the Covid restrictions lifted, then 2023 has been a year of more slow and steady recovery. We are not seeing sharper increases in passenger number growth due to some of our vessels currently still not operating on our core routes, but chartered out," he said.
"This still makes perfect sense for us from an operational and risk reduction point of view as the markets and demand are not ready yet for increased capacity on our routes. Customer spending continues to be under pressure from price rises in every walk of life and the wider global security and economic situation is making people more careful with their spending," Nõgene added.
"The big positive of the year has been the addition of MyStar to the Tallinn – Helsinki route and the newest member of our fleet has proved to be exactly the draw that we needed to bring customers – old and new – back to the Tallinn – Helsinki route after many challenging years. The new ship recently celebrated its one-year anniversary on the route and is already much loved by both our passengers and crew and the green bridge between Tallinn and Helsinki has proved itself already," Nõgene continued.
"In 2024 we will continue to build on this steady growth, focusing our attention also on the cargo transportation improvements and possibilities and we will continue the steady course we set ourselves on in 2023. As ever, Tallink Grupp will continue to work hard to guarantee vital transport links for people and goods between Estonia and Finland, Estonia and Sweden, and Finland and Sweden even at a time when the economic situations are challenging," he said.
Editor: Michael Cole