Home Case Study: Pharma
Pharmaceutische goods via inland waterway shipping

Case Study

The problem

Following the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, an API producer was looking for a new location to receive its goods in the European Union. The goods originally arrived in the United Kingdom via containers from the US and were then further distributed by truck. Since the goods were received at this location in the European Union, specific permits were required (API import, API storage).


ODTH, together with the customer and the freight forwarder, implemented a solution whereby the goods are delivered to Willebroek over inland waterways. ODTH applied for the necessary permits so that the goods can be easily imported into the European Union.

This solution resulted in the following benefits for the customer:


Reduced delays and congestion

Use of the inland terminal makes it possible for our customers to improve freight transport efficiency. Containers can be transported quickly from the seaport to the inland waterway terminal, reducing delays and road congestion. The unique location of our distribution centre in Willebroek ensures that there is no longer any need for transport by truck before or after.


Promoting sustainability

By consolidating freight transport and shifting to inland waterway shipping, our customers contribute to reducing their environmental impact. Reducing the number of trucks on the road reduces greenhouse gas emissions and promotes sustainability in the supply chain.


Cost optimisation

The use of an inland waterway terminal allows our customers to save costs on long-distance transport. Instead of running trucks directly between the seaport and the hinterland, the containers can be consolidated and transferred to the inland waterway terminal. After unloading, the goods can be distributed more efficiently between trucks or trains for further transport.



ODTH worked with the customer to identify the correct permits for the import and storage of the APIs. By using the ODTH import permit, the customer did not have to apply for its own Belgian VAT number to import the goods.