Decrease in road freight transport in 2020
In 2020, 274 million tonnes of goods were transported by road by vehicles registered in Belgium (lorries and road tractors with a load capacity of at least one tonne). This is a decrease of 3.4% compared to 2019 for the number of tonnes transported, and of 0.9% for the number of tonne-kilometres.
The decrease in quantity amounted to 3.6% for domestic transport and to 2.6% for international transport. The share of international transport (19%) versus domestic transport (81%) remains constant.
71% of road transport in Belgium is for third parties (i.e. via transport companies). It decreased by 2% between 2019 and 2020 and own-account transport fell by 6.5%.
 A tonne-kilometre is a measurement unit combining weight and distance. For example, the transport of 2 tonnes over a distance of 2 kilometres is 4 tonne-kilometres.
Road freight transport by vehicles registered in Belgium (2014-2020)
|Domestic transport||1,000 t||299,423||295,008||292,429||300,076||285,484||283,938||274,337|
|Road freight transport (in Belgian and foreign territory) by vehicles registered in Belgium with a load capacity of at least one tonne.
Source (mandatory acknowledgement): Statbel (Directorate-General Statistics - Statistics Belgium), statistical survey on road freight transport.
Purpose and brief description
This refers to the transport of goods by road (on Belgian territory and abroad) carried out by vehicles registered in Belgium and with a load capacity of at least one tonne.
For the road freight transport, the data are based on a weekly survey carried out among the owners and lessees of road tractors and lorries registered in Belgium and with a load capacity of at least one tonne. These owners/lessees drive either on own account or for hire or reward (transport companies).
The purpose of this survey is to collect data on road freight transport carried out by motor vehicles registered in Belgium (basic variables are: number of tonnes transported, tonne-kilometers effected and kilometers travelled). The data are collected using a sample survey according to the provisions of the European Regulation (PDF, 82.3 Kb) No 70/2021 of 18/01/2012. Each Member sends the data collected to Eurostat on a quarterly basis, so that an overall picture of road freight transport in the European Community can be obtained.
Lorries and tractors registered in Belgium with the Vehicle Registration Service (D.I.V. – FPS Mobility).
Data collection method and sample size
The basis is the population of lorries and tractors registered in Belgium with the Vehicle Registration Service (D.I.V. – FPS Mobility). According to the provisions of the European Regulation No 70/2012, agricultural vehicles, military vehicles and vehicles belonging to central or local public administrations are not taken into account. Furthermore, each Member State may exclude goods road transport vehicles whose load capacity or maximum permissible weight is lower than a certain limit. For Belgium, the limit of a load capacity of 1 tonne is applicable. The sampling fractions are determined according to the type of vehicle (lorry or tractor), and for lorries according to the type of bodywork (open lorry, refrigerated lorry, flat-bed lorry, tipper lorry, etc.) and the load capacity. Tractors are surveyed exhaustively once a year, lorries on average once every 2 years. This is a weekly sampling, whereby each time approximately 1,000 lorries and/or tractors are randomly selected from the population. The same lorry/tractor can only be surveyed once a year.
Availability of the results: 12 months after the reference period.
From 2000 onwards, the Directorate General Statistics has additional information about vehicles used for transport for hire or reward.
The methodology has been adapted so that extrapolation is carried out a posteriori for transport for hire or reward and for transport on own account. The average of the company vehicle fleet and the usable response is split between transport for hire or reward and transport on own account.
This means that the evolution of the ratio of transport for hire or reward and transport on own account is no longer comparable in time from 2000 onwards.
From 2015 onwards, a new stratification method is used, distinguishing a priori between transport on own account and transport for hire or reward. The advantage is that the sampling can be much more targeted and at the same time significantly reduced.
The second stratification variable is the capacity class (load capacity).