Carriage of goods is necessary for a functioning economy but is associated with noise, air pollution which is damaging to health and emissions of greenhouse gases. Transport infrastructure takes up space and carves up the landscape. The pollution can be reduced if more goods are shipped by rail instead of road.
The distance travelled by goods vehicles on the road has increased by some 25% since 1990 from 4,592 to 5,723 million kilometres per year.
In 1980 over half of all goods were transported by rail. By 2009, this figure had fallen to only 36%. A pronounced trend towards using road vehicles for goods transport is discernable.
The so-called freight transport intensity is also increasing. This means that freight movements (in tonnes-kilometre) are rising faster than gross domestic product and the production of goods is becoming increasingly dependent on transport. This rise can be explained by the fact that the distribution of work is increasing, goods are produced in ever fewer places and more journeys are necessary. The trend is set to continue, which is why it will be even more important to shift goods transport from road to rail in future.
This indicator shows the distance travelled annually on the roads by goods vehicles (in vehicle-kilometres), divided into light vehicles with a maximum total weight of 3.5 tonnes and heavier trucks. Domestic and foreign vehicles are included.
The data is derived from the Swiss Traffic Statistics published annually by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office. They are summary statistics which combine the results of surveys by various Federal agencies.