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General decrease in all modes of transport of passengers and freight
Transport activities
General decrease in all modes of transport of passengers and freight - 4th Quarter 2020
09 March 2021


In the 4th quarter of 2020, national airports handled 3.1 million passengers, recording a major decrease compared to the previous quarter (-76.6%; -71.5% in the 3rd Q 2020).
Also in transport of passenger by train and by subway, major decreases were recorded (-42.3% and -54.7% compared to -40.3% and -51.3% in the 3rd Q 2020), with totals of 28.3 and 33.5 million passengers handled, respectively.
Inland waterway passenger transport decreased by 48.4% (-36.8% in the 3rd Q 2020), reaching 2.8 million passengers.
The freight transport by air and by rail registered less pronounced decreases compared to the previous quarter: -26.1% in air transport (-39.0% in the 3rd Q 2020), -3.3% in transport by rail (-5.3% in the 3rd Q). Road freight transport registered a more pronounced decrease (-11.7%; -4.1% in the 3rd Q 2020). Also freight by sea decreased again (-2.1%; +0.2% in the 3rd Q 2020).
Preliminary results for 2020 reveal a general decrease in passenger transport: by air (-69.4%; +6.8% in the previous year), by train (-38.4%; +21.2% in 2019), by subway (-48.0%; +10.5% in 2019) and by inland waterway (-42.7%; +6.7% in the previous year).
In relation to freight transport in 2020, all modes of transport decreased in comparison to the previous year: the air transport registered a reduction of 30.2% (after +12.1% in 2019), the rail -7.6% (-12.0% in 2019), the road -15.0% (-2.2% in 2019) and the sea -6.9% (-5.6% in previous year).
In 2020, in oil pipeline transport there was a decrease of 31.7% compared to the previous year (+2.8% in 2019). Regarding gas transportation by pipeline, there were decreases in both inputs (-3.3%; +6.5% in 2019) and outputs (-3.2%; +7.1% in 2019).

Despite the circumstances determined by the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Portugal calls for the best collaboration by companies, families and public entities in responding to Statistics Portugal’s data requests. The quality of official statistics, particularly its ability to identify the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, crucially depends on this collaboration, which Statistics Portugal thanks in advance.

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