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Economic impacts of transit traffic: computer model TRAMA

Finland Icon
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Transit traffic has a very important role in the Finnish economy. Mainly the goods are transported between Russia and Western Europe via Finland. The TRAMA model was developed in order to estimate the economic importance of the transit traffic in Finland. Transit traffic is defined in the model as consisting of the transit traffic, storage, handling, value adding etc. of goods, whose place of departure and final destination lies outside Finland’s borders.


The purpose of the TRAMA project was to produce a strategic tool, easy to update and easy to use, for the evaluation, monitoring and analysis of the economic impact of transit goods transport. The model produces an estimate of the annual overall economic impact of goods transport that passes through Finland. It also allows comparison of the economic impact of different transport routes and transport chains.


Two computer models were developed during the project. Model 1 computes the annual overall economic impacts of transit traffic in Finland (base year 2005). The model is updated every year with the newest traffic and structural data. Model 2 is used in the comparison of the economic impacts of different transportation routes and chains.

The transit traffic’s economic activity is defined with respect to the entire transport chain; sea transport, port functions, stevedoring, forwarding, storage, road and rail transport vale-added logistics etc. Factors illustrating the economic effects are sales income, value added, paid salaries, employment and foreign currency income.

The data on sales proceeds in the model was collected by surveys and telephone interviews. Other data used in the model was collected from statistics, previous studies, guidelines for evalution of route projects, and from other literature.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Ministry of Transport and Communications
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The model estimates primarily the direct effects of the economic activity. The model also estimates the transit traffic’s share of the state income (user fees) collected from the use of waterways, roads, railroads etc. as well as its share of costs involved in maintaining the transport infrastructure. In addition, the external costs of the transit traffic are estimated by the model. These are damages caused by exhaust gas emissions, noise and accidents.

The model covers Russian transit traffic via Finnish ports, transit traffic to and from the Trans-Siberian railway, and other transit traffic such as air-road transports. The same principles as used in Finnish model can be used to construct a transit traffic model for other countries.

Phase 2 of the TRAMA 2 model development is currently ongoing. Phase 2 includes corrections for the accounting principles of the model, update of prices and a survey that focuses also on future prospects of transit traffic.

Policy implications

The transit traffic model helps in:

  • Monitoring the development overall and route specific of transit transport economic impact
  • Estimating the financial benefit for the government and the employment impact
  • Marketing and developing the transit traffic route and its logistics services
  • Developing a national strategy and regional strategies for transit traffic
  • Outlining traffic and infrastructure views in national policy
  • Making proposals regarding transit traffic and training in logistics and goods transport
  • Making cost-benefit analyses on investments and infrastructure projects with regard to transit traffic
  • Strategic transit traffic and gateway studies
  • Conducting evaluations and comparisons on the profitability of transit traffic for various actors such as railway operators, ports, transport companies and logistics companies.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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