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Cabotage services

SIA “RITLOGISTIKA” provides a full range of logistics services and cargo transportation within and outside the European Union, conducting reliable and safe cabotage cargo transports. Thanks to our extensive fleet of licensed vehicles and the involvement of tested business partners, international and domestic cabotage cargo transports are executed by optimizing various routes and cargo deliveries via land, rail, air, or sea freight.

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Cabotage meaning in logistics

Cabotage cargo transportation in logistics by road involves short-term domestic cargo transports carried out in one European Union or European Economic Area country using a vehicle registered in another country. The vehicle must obtain a special European Union cabotage transport license to perform cabotage transports.

Cabotage example:

SIA “RITLOGISTIKA”, using a vehicle registered in Latvia, plans to deliver a full load from Kuldīga (Latvia) to Munich (Germany). To fully utilize the vehicle for the return journey, SIA “RITLOGISTIKA” schedules the following routes: from Munich to Stuttgart, from Stuttgart to Frankfurt, and from Frankfurt to Leipzig, to return to Latvia with cargo.

Cabotage transportation

Types of cabotage transportation

SIA “RITLOGISTIKA” provides cabotage transportation of goods and freight within and outside the European Union. Cabotage is a concept mainly familiar to companies involved in international transport, where a transport operator from one country carries goods or cargo between two locations in the same region.

The term “cabotage” originates from the Italian navigator Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), recognized for geographical discoveries and coastal navigation between various ports of a single country. Thus, in the early days of cabotage, it was applied only to coastal shipping. Nowadays, cabotage also applies to aviation, rail, and road transport.

Cargo transportation

Cargo transportation

Cabotage cargo transportation allows cargo carriers to maximize the load capacity of their vehicles during international trips to and fro and avoid so-called “empty runs” (for example, to prevent a vehicle from returning to Latvia from Germany without cargo, it performs cabotage, delivering a few more cargoes in Germany by truck and then loading the vehicle for the return trip to Latvia with full cargo).

Goods transportation

Freight transportation

Goods transport cabotage is mainly used by foreign-registered companies from various industries for transporting goods between their overseas branches or between them using their own cargo vehicles. Cabotage transports are also very popular among Western European cargo carriers and freight forwarders.

ETMC permit

The European Transport Ministers Conference (ETMC) permits, following a quota system, are issued by the International Transport Forum (ITF) for international commercial cargo transports, granting rights to conduct transports between ETMC member states, as well as in transit through one or more ETMC member states, using a vehicle or transport company registered in any of the ETMC member states.

Cabotage transportation rules

The rules for cabotage transport stipulate that a transport company registered in one of the European Union member states is allowed to provide up to three consecutive cabotage transports within seven days in the destination member state or one cabotage transport within three days in a country that is not the cargo delivery country. The transport data must be reflected in the CMR consignment note or in the cabotage documents, where the information about the international transport route, recipient, and sender is defined.


To provide cabotage transport, the carrier must obtain and maintain a valid European Union license for international cabotage transport.


A carrier registered in another European Union country can perform up to three consecutive cabotage transports within the territory of another European Union and European Economic Area country.


When conducting international cargo transport, no more than three cabotage transports are permitted within the territory of the destination country within seven days from the cargo unloading, and no more than one cabotage transport within three days from the time the vehicle without cargo has entered another EU country’s territory.