Europe Customs Brokerage Market - Growth, Trends, Covid-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022-2027)

The Europe Customs Brokerage Market is segmented by Mode of Transport (Sea, Air and Cross-border Land Transport) and by Geography ( Germany, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Italy and Rest of Europe)

Market Snapshot

europe customs brokerage market
Study Period: 2018-2027
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: >3 %

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Market Overview

The Europe customs brokerage market is estimated to register a CAGR of approximately 3% during the forecast period (2022-2027).

The pandemic has impacted imports to Europe negatively. The second quarter of 2020 saw the greatest decrease in imports when compared to the previous year. Imports from all Member States fell in the third quarter as well. Imports from nine Member States increased in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Ten of the remaining 18 had decreased by more than 5%, most notably in Malta (-24% ).

In 2021, extra-EU trade saw a strong recovery from the drops in exports and imports registered in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, imports increased by 23% and exports by 13%. In 2021, the EU trade in goods balance registered a surplus of EUR 68 billion, the lowest surplus since 2011, when the trade balance recorded a EUR 42 billion deficit. This development was driven, in particular, by a steep rise in the value of energy imports towards the end of 2021, with increasing trade deficits being recorded in November and December.

Among the EU Member States, the highest shares of intra-EU trade in 2021 for both imports and exports were recorded in Luxembourg (89% and 81%, respectively). In contrast, Ireland was the EU Member State with the lowest shares of intra-EU trade for both imports and exports (38% for both), which is not surprising as its first trade partner is the United Kingdom. Among the EU Member States, the highest shares of intra-EU trade in 2021 for both imports and exports were recorded in Luxembourg (89% and 81%, respectively). In contrast, Ireland was the EU Member State with the lowest shares of intra-EU trade for both imports and exports (38% for both), which is not surprising as its first trade partner is the United Kingdom. In 2021, the Netherlands was importing a large share of goods from third countries and exporting them within the EU. In contrast, Cyprus imported a large share of goods from the EU Member States, while the largest share was exported outside the EU.

The European customs brokerage market has been steadily expanding, and this trend is expected to continue throughout the forecast period. The number of entries processed by the European Customs Union has steadily increased in response to rising imports. The European customs market is unique, as customs duties are levied only on products imported from outside Europe. The EU is the world's largest trading bloc, accounting for more than 15% of global trade, along with the United States and China.

Scope of the Report

Customs Brokerage firms facilitate the shipment and delivery of goods across geographical borders for individuals and organizations. The Europe customs brokerage market is segmented by mode of transport and by geography. By mode of transport, the market is segmented into sea, air, and cross-border land transport. By geography, the market is segmented into Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Italy, and the Rest of Europe.

By Mode Of Transport
Cross-Border Land Transport
By Geography
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe

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Key Market Trends

Germany Driving the Growth of the Market

The German economy is the fourth-largest economy in the world, accounting for one-quarter (24.2%) of the European Union's GDP in 2020. With a population of 83.2 million people, Germany has the largest consumer market in the European Union. Germany is also Europe's largest importer, accounting for one-third of total imports into the continent. Every year, Germany imports approximately 20-25% of its goods and services from China and the United States. Germany imported goods to the value of EUR 1,202.2 billion in 2021. Imports were up by 17.1% from a year ago. Most imports to Germany came from the People's Republic of China in 2021. Goods to the value of EUR 141.7 billion were imported from there (+20.8% on a year earlier). The Netherlands ranked second among the most important countries for imports to Germany, accounting for goods to the value of EUR 105.6 billion (+21.4%). The United States came third with a value of EUR 72.1 billion (+6.5%).

According to the Central Customs Authority of Germany, the total value of customs duties collected by the authority in 2019 was EUR 5.2 billion, accounting for 20% of the total value of union customs collection and the largest share of federal government tax revenue of the country.

europe customs brokerage market share

Sea Transport Dominates the Market

Shipping remains the most cost-effective means of transporting goods from supplier to buyer, with 75% of goods coming into Europe by sea from external partners. Looking at past trends over the last five years, the EUs import tonnage increased by 5%, typically importing from an average of 211 unique Non-EU Trade partners each year - it represents a substantial increase of 22% (USD 227 Billion) in terms of the value of those goods. 

Just under 30% of the 211 trade partners lie to the East, spread across Northern Africa, Middle East and Asia. The commodity portfolio is predominantly made up of mineral fuels, oils & derivatives, which is unsurprising considering that around 60% of total imports usually constitutes of these types of goods. What is however notable is that of those 60%, 24% or 183 Million Tons comes from this area alone (particularly Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar). Other types of goods to be imported from this region alone include high valued goods such as vehicles, ores, construction materials, electrical goods & Apparels. The number of customs entries by mode is highest for sea transport, as is the revenue of the customs brokerage market.

europe customs brokerage market growth

Competitive Landscape

The market for Customs Brokerage in Europe is fragmented in nature. With a large number of customs brokers operating in the market, the competition is high. The major players in the market include DHL Logistics, Maersk Logistics, Kuehne and Nagel Logistics, United Parcel Services, DB Schenker, etc.

Recent Development

In February 2022 : To support customers with the complexity of customs, A.P. Moller - Maersk launched Digital Customs Academy, a global e-learning platform for customs, logistics and international trade compliance. The platform has been developed in partnership between KGH Customs Services – A Maersk Company and UK Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT). World trade is an important instrument for the global economy and recovery after the pandemic. When international supply and value chains become more integrated, the interaction with Customs and border agencies becomes essential from a compliance point of view. To help customers interact with that complexity, Maersk Customs Services launched this platform offering a wide range of digital training on core customs and logistics topics, delivered on-line in various languages.

In May 2022 : The Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on a single window for customs which sets the appropriate conditions for digital collaboration between customs and partner competent authorities. The aim is to make international trade easier, shorten customs clearance times and reduce the risk of fraud. It will also help reduce the administrative burden for traders.Efficient customs clearance and controls are essential to allow trade to flow smoothly while also protecting EU citizens, businesses and the environment. Once fully implemented, businesses will no longer have to submit documents to several authorities through different portals. The single window environment will allow customs and other authorities to automatically verify that the goods in question comply with EU requirements and that the necessary formalities have been completed.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Market




    1. 4.1 Current Market Scenario


      1. 4.2.1 Drivers

      2. 4.2.2 Restraints

      3. 4.2.3 Opportunities

    3. 4.3 Government Initiatives and Regulations

    4. 4.4 Supply Chain/Value Chain Analysis

    5. 4.5 Impact of COVID-19 on the Market

    6. 4.6 Brief on Customs Brokerage as a Freight Forwarding Function

    7. 4.7 Overview of Customs Pricing

    8. 4.8 Insights on Customs Brokerage Services by End-user Industry

    9. 4.9 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis


    1. 5.1 By Mode Of Transport

      1. 5.1.1 Sea

      2. 5.1.2 Air

      3. 5.1.3 Cross-Border Land Transport

    2. 5.2 By Geography

      1. 5.2.1 Germany

      2. 5.2.2 United Kingdom

      3. 5.2.3 France

      4. 5.2.4 Netherlands

      5. 5.2.5 Italy

      6. 5.2.6 Rest of Europe


    1. 6.1 Market Concentration Overview

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 DHL Group Logistics

      2. 6.2.2 DB Schenker

      3. 6.2.3 Kuehne and Nagel

      4. 6.2.4 Maersk Logistics

      5. 6.2.5 United Parcel Services

      6. 6.2.6 FedEx

      7. 6.2.7 Rhenus Logistics

      8. 6.2.8 Gerlach Customs

      9. 6.2.9 APL Logistics

      10. 6.2.10 Gaston Schul Logistics*

    3. *List Not Exhaustive

  8. 8. APPENDIX

    1. 8.1 Macroeconomic Indicators

    2. 8.2 Insights on capital flow

    3. 8.3 Exports and Import Statistics

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Europe Customs Brokerage Market market is studied from 2018 - 2027.

The Europe Customs Brokerage Market is growing at a CAGR of >3% over the next 5 years.

DHL Group Logistics, DB Schenker, Kuehne and Nagel, Maersk Logistics, United Parcel Service are the major companies operating in Europe Customs Brokerage Market.

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