Road haulage by foreign lorries up again

In 2016, road hauliers carried 191 million tonnes of cargo into and out of the Netherlands. The share of Dutch hauliers in this cross-border transport continued to decline in favour of foreign hauliers. New figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) show that carrier vehicles from Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) in particular once again carried more goods than one year previously.

Dutch lorries carried 101 tonnes of cargo in and out of the country in 2016. This represents a decrease of 1 percent compared to 2015. In domestic transport, the total amount of goods did show an increase. Foreign hauliers continued to transport more goods to and from the Netherlands; the total weight of transported goods was up by 10 percent relative to one year previously. As a result, the share in tonnage occupied by foreign hauliers was 47 percent. In 2007, this share was 10 percentage points lower.

Total weight of goods carried by road to and from the Netherlands, by home country of vehicle
 CEE countriesOther European countriesNetherlands

More freight carried by Central and Eastern European lorries

The increase in foreign cargo transport was mainly on account of lorries from Central and Eastern Europe. The total weight carried to and from the Netherlands via CEE countries grew by 19.5 percent compared to one year previously. Haulage by lorries from other European countries, especially Germany, was up by 3.9 percent.

Road haulage to and from the Netherlands by lorries from CEE countries has seen substantial growth in recent years. In 2007, lorries from CEE countries accounted for 19.4 percent of all road transportation by foreign lorries from and to the Netherlands. Ten years later, this share has is approaching 45 percent. Of all CEE countries, lorries from Poland carried by far the most goods across Dutch borders in 2016: 55 percent of total haulage by CEE hauliers. Poland is followed by Romania (7.7 percent) and Bulgaria (7.1 percent).

Total weight carried to and from the Netherlands via CEECs
 Total weight carried
Czech Republic2.2
Other countries2.2

Relatively young foreign vehicles on Dutch roads

Of all road haulage within the Netherlands by foreign carriers in 2016, 82 percent was undertaken by vehicles that were seven years or less of age. The majority have a Euro 5 or 6 engine. Among lorries from CEE countries, this share was 77 percent. Nearly half of all journeys to and from the Netherlands were made by vehicles three years old or younger.

By contrast, journeys within CEE countries are often made by older carrier vehicles. Nearly 80 percent of journeys within national borders were made by lorries that were eight years or older. In the Netherlands, the share of such lorries in domestic journeys is 34 percent.