International transport and distribution

Advantages and disadvantages of road transport for international trade


Road transport can be the most flexible option for your international business, especially when trading with the European Union. The motorway network is good and crossing national borders is usually quick and efficient.

Advantages of road transport for international trade

Some advantages of moving goods by road include:

  • relatively low cost
  • extensive road networks - scheduled delivery days and next day delivery services are a viable option
  • you can schedule transport to suit you and you can track the location of goods
  • consignments can be secure and private

Disadvantages of road transport for international trade

There are risks and disadvantages when transporting your goods by road, including:

  • long distances overland can take more time
  • there can be traffic delays and breakdowns
  • there is the risk of goods being damaged, especially over long distances
  • toll charges are high in some countries
  • some countries have different road and traffic regulations

You can either use your own vehicles, or a carrier. If you operate your own vehicles, you will need to consider licences, fuel costs, regulations, driver training and tax.

Different types of carrier, include:

Consider your requirements carefully before making your choice - for more detailed information, see our guide on moving goods by road.