Freight traffic, road
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 41% since 1990 from 4,592 to 6,504 million km per year. Whereas over half of all goods were transported by rail in 1980, the level has settled at around 39% since the mid-1990s.
Hence a clear trend towards the use of road vehicles for goods transport is observable. In addition, goods transport intensity has also increased. This means that goods transport (in tonne-kilometres) is increasing faster than gross domestic product. This indicates that more transport is required for the production of goods. This increase can be explained by the fact that the differentiation of labour is increasing, goods are being produced in fewer places and more transport is needed as a result. This development is likely to continue. This makes it all the more important to increase goods transport by rail in the 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 "Gütertransportstatistik" published annually by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office.