Export: arranging goods transport

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK | Statistics Netherlands, CBS

When exporting goods, you have three transport options. You can hire an expedition company, you can use the services of a transport company, or you can transport the goods yourself. Transporting abroad involves transport documents, supply conditions, packaging requirements, and insurance.

You contract an expedition company

If you let an expedition company (Fenex, in Dutch) arrange the transport, they will arrange everything for you: transport documents, insurance and customs procedures.

You hire a transporting company

You choose a mode of transport, and find a transporting company (Holland Transport, in Dutch) that can execute the transport for you. The transporting company will see to procuring the correct transport documents. They possess the relevant licences for road hauliers. You will remain responsible for the customs procedure and any transport insurance you want to take out.

You transport the goods yourself

You will have to arrange everything yourself.
  • You must have the correct transport documents. It depends on the mode of transport (by road, air, rail, or water) what they are.
  • You must have the correct licence(s) for road hauliers.
  • You may have to invest in a means of transport.
  • If you are exporting goods outside the EU, you will have to deal with Customs procedures yourself.

Check the packaging requirements

The transporting or expedition company may have special packaging requirements, depending on the mode of transport. Discuss this beforehand. Also check the packaging requirements for your product in the destination country. If you are exporting inside the EU, you must comply with EU legislation as well as the 2014 Packaging Management Decree.

ICC Incoterms® - international delivery conditions

For international transport, make use of the ICC Incoterms®. These are international standards for goods transport, to cover for instance:

  • Who arranges the transport from where to where;
  • Who is responsible for transport insurance, licences, documents and cutoms procedures;
  • At what point the transport liability transfers from seller to buyer.
N.B.: The most recent version of the Incoterms is Incoterms® 2020. If you have been using the ICC Incoterms® 2010, you can continue to do so. They remain valid.

Insure your goods

Check who is responsible for the goods before, during and after transport. Cover your risks, for instance by taking out transport insurance.


As of 1 January 2021 you most likely need to use different documents to import or export goods to and from the UK. If you import or export agricultural goods, plants or use wooden packaging, you will need extra certificates and undergo inspections. Find more information on the rules on our Brexitloket pages.

Corona crisis: freight and goods transports

The ban on travel to EU countries does not apply to the transport of necessary goods, such as food, medical equipment and medicines. Freight and goods transporters can travel to and from countries with travel restrictions by air, rail and water.

Dutch transport sector organisation TLN has a live blog (in Dutch) plus an interactive map charting the travel measures per country in Europe.

Statistics: export development

Value of goods exported to other countries.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Statistics Netherlands, CBS