20 million fewer passengers compared to last year. Thousands of sailors laid off or unemployed. Swedish shipping, especially ferry traffic, is currently going through the worst crisis ever. But not much is noticed. During November and so far in December, a total of 44 articles concerning shipping were published in the Swedish daily press - this according to Lighthouse's tool for media surveillance. And of these 44, only a few highlight the crisis in which the industry finds itself.
Following the first alarms on layoffs, closed lines and demands for economic help to keep traffic alive, it was whole different story in march. Nearly 200 articles had bold headlines in the style of "ACUTE CRISIS FOR SHIPPING" and the presence of shipping in the daily press had suddenly increased by 300 percent! But already in April it was over. "Crisis as usual" has no immediate news value. Since then, shipping has popped up a bit now and then - when Tallink Silja notified all 500 onboard employees in October some was written, but not as much when the notice was withdrawn a couple of weeks later after the government extended support for short-term layoffs.