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.