In 2021, maritime transport accounted for more than two-thirds (68%, 5 135 billion tonne-km; tkm) of the EU’s freight transport, the lowest share recorded in the past decade. Road transport accounted for a quarter (25%, 1 863 billion tkm), while rail (5%, 410 billion tkm), inland waterway (2%, 136 billion tkm) and air (0.2%, 15 billion tkm) transport each accounted for small shares of freight transport.
The share of maritime transport decreased slightly compared with 2020 (-1 percentage point; pp). It decreased more significantly compared with the year recording the highest share in the last decade, which was 2012 (-2 pp).
This information comes from data on the modal split of freight transport published by Eurostat today.
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Meanwhile, the share of road transport in 2021 reached the highest share recorded in the past decade. It increased slightly compared with 2020 (+1 pp) and increased more significantly compared with the year recording the lowest share in the last decade, which was 2012 (+3 pp).
The share of rail transport also slightly increased in 2021 compared with 2020 (+0.2 pp) but remained lower compared with the year recording the highest share in the last decade, which was 2011 (-1 pp).
Inland waterway transport has remained stable since 2018, but slightly lower than the peak recorded in 2013 (-1 pp).
Air had the smallest share in freight transport and remained at 0.2% in the last decade.
Maritime and road transport – main means of freight transport except in Lithuania
Maritime was the main mode of freight transport for 15 EU members (out of 22 with a coastline) in 2021 and accounted for more than 70% of freight transport in 10 countries.
Meanwhile, road transport was the main mode of freight transport for 10 EU members and accounted for more than 70% in three countries: Luxembourg (84%), Czechia (77%) and Poland (70%).
Rail freight transport was the main mode for only one country: Lithuania (53%).