International road transport sector registers another steady gain

The relatively large Dutch road transport sector continues to register steady if unimpressive growth, the national statistics office CBS reported on Tuesday.

There was an overall 1.5% increase to 666 million tonnes (more than the throughput of Rotterdam seaport which is the largest in Europe) in 2017. But cross-border Dutch road transport was 3.5% higher, the first increase since 2014.

Nevertheless, Dutch truckers faced increased competition from those in Eastern Europe, the CBS said.

Construction materials such as gravel and sand make up 80% of all Dutch road transport and this continued in 2017. Petroleum products, chemicals and fertilizers also contributed to the growth of goods moved by road.

Professional truckers accounted for 80% of all goods transported in lorries, with a 2.8% increase in tonnage over 2016. But solo operators saw their share of the market fall by 3.2% to 132 million tonnes.

While total road transport tonnage increased last year, the number of kilometers driven shrank by 2%. The CBS said Dutch truckers are moving goods over shorter distances.

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