Concepts and definitions

Articulated vehicle

Road tractor coupled to a semi-trailer.

Cabotage transport

Transport within one country with a vehicle registered in another country.

Cross-trade transport

Transport performed by a road motor vehicle registered in one country between a place of loading in a second country and a place of unloading in a third country. Such transport may involve transit through one or more additional country or countries.

Dangerous goods

Dangerous goods are substances that may cause damage to people, property or the environment due to their corrosive, flammable, explosive, spontaneously combustible, toxic, oxidising, radioactive, biological, water reactive or other nature.


Total number of kilometres driven by a vehicle or a specified subgroup during a certain time period, usually one year.

Floor area within vehicle body

Maximum floor area within the vehicle body (e.g. measured in square metres) available for the carriage of goods.

Foreign road vehicle

A road vehicle registered in a country other than the reporting country and bearing registration plates of that foreign country.

Goods road motor vehicle

Any single road motor vehicle designed to carry goods (e.g. a lorry), or any coupled combination of road vehicles designed to carry goods, (i.e. lorry with trailer(s), or road tractor with semi-trailer and with or without trailer).

Goods road vehicle

Road vehicle designed, exclusively or primarily, to carry goods.

Included are:

a) Light goods road vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of not more than 3 500 kg, designed exclusively or primarily, to carry goods, e.g. vans and pick-ups

b) Heavy goods road vehicles with a gross vehicle weight above 3 500 kg, designed, exclusively or primarily, to carry goods

c) Road tractors

d) Agricultural tractors permitted to use roads open to public traffic.

Gross vehicle weight

Total of the weight of the vehicle (or combination of vehicles) including its load when stationary and ready for the road declared permissible by the competent authority of the country of registration.

This includes the weight of the driver and the maximum number of persons permitted to be carried.

Heavy goods road vehicle

Goods road vehicle with a gross vehicle weight above 3 500 kg, designed, exclusively or primarily, to carry goods.

International road transport

Transport from Finland to abroad and from abroad to Finland, between third countries, and cabotage.

Licensed transport

Transportation of people or goods against a fee (for hire or reward). Practising of the transportation is subject to a permission from a licensing authority.

Light goods road vehicle

Goods road vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of not more than 3 500 kg, designed, exclusively or primarily, to carry goods.

Included are vans designed for and used primarily for transport of goods, pick-ups and small lorries with a gross vehicle weight of not more than 3 500 kg.

Load capacity

Maximum weight of goods declared permissible by the competent authority of the country of registration of the vehicle (difference between gross weight and own weight).

Load volume

Maximum volume available in the vehicle (e.g. measured in cubic metres) for the carriage of goods.

Loading ratio

Weight of load relative to the load capacity of a lorry.

National road transport

Road transport between two places (a place of loading/embarkation and a place of unloading/disembarkation) located in Finland with vehicles registered in Finland for private and licensed transport (for hire or reward). The trip may include transit in the area of another country.

Place of loading

The place taken into account for loading is the place where the goods were loaded on a goods road motor vehicle or where the road tractor has been changed.

Place of unloading

The place taken into account is the place where the goods were unloaded from a goods road motor vehicle or where the road tractor has been changed.

Road goods transport enterprise

Road transport enterprise offering and performing services in the transport of goods, whose main activity in the field of road transport, according to value-added, is road goods transport.

Road tractor

Road motor vehicle designed, exclusively or primarily, to haul other road vehicles which are not power-driven (mainly semi-trailers).

Agricultural tractors are excluded.

Road train

Goods road motor vehicle coupled to a trailer.

Articulated vehicle with a further trailer attached is included.

Swap body

A freight-carrying unit optimised to road vehicle dimensions and fitted with handling devices for transfer between modes, usually road/rail.


Tonne-kilometre describes the volume of transport, and is obtained as a product of transported volume of goods (tonnes) and length of transport journey (kilometres).

Tonne-kilometre by road

Unit of measurement of goods transport which represents the transport of one tonne by road over one kilometre.

The distance to be taken into consideration is the distance actually run.

Transit transport by road

Transit transport refers to through passage transport where the points of departure and destination are in another country or other countries and the transport passes through the territory of the transit country without loading of unloading.

Transport for hire or reward

Transportation of people or goods for a fee, i.e. transportation subject to a licence.

Transport on own account

Transport which is not for hire or reward.

Such transport is the movement by an enterprise of its own staff or freight without any associated financial transaction. Although individual persons may undertake such transport, it is not included here.

Type of cargo

Type of cargo indicates the type of container in which goods are transported.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Goods transport by road [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-3617. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 25.4.2019].
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