Latvia, being located in the crossroads of the markets of the European Union, CIS and Asia, is a perfect place to organize logistics. Multimodal transport corridors are crossing the territory of Latvia from East to West and from North to South. The main cargo flows, mainly transit, are moving from East to West through Latvian ports connecting Russia, the CIS and Asian countries not only with Western Europe but with the whole world.

Efficient and competitive services are offered in Latvia by operators of ports, railway, road transport, warehousing and customs brokerage, logistics centres, as well as shipping agents, forwarding agents and transporters of oil and oil product pipelines. One third of service export in the economy of Latvia is provided by transit and logistics sector, placing transit among the top priorities at governmental level.

Maritime ports

There are three large ice-free ports in Latvia – Freeport of Riga, Freeport of Ventspils and Liepaja Special Economic Zone. Regular ferry traffic connects Latvia with Swedish and German ports. Container lines carry containers to many other ports in Baltic Sea as well as to ports of the European Union.

Freeport of Riga

Freeport of Ventspils

Liepaja Special Economic Zone


RIGA International Airport is the largest international aviation company in the Baltic’s and the main air traffic centre in the region offering regular passenger, cargo and postal delivery to the cities of Europe and world. The RIGA International Airport renders both aviation (airplane, passenger and cargo attendance) and non-aviation services (lease, parking spaces, VIP centre services, etc.). It attends both national and international airlines becoming one of the few European airports that attends both full service and low costs airlines

Latvian national air-carrier AIR BALTIC CORPORATION (airBaltic) was founded in 1995. The primary shareholder is the Latvian state with 99.8% of stock.

airBaltic serves over 60 destinations from its home base in Riga, Latvia. From each location, airBaltic offers convenient connections via Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, CIS and the Middle East. In addition, airBaltic also offers new direct flights from Tallinn and Vilnius.

For the second year running, the Latvian airline airBaltic has been ranked No 1 globally in punctuality in 2015 by OAG analysts, who tracked the performance of a total of over 50 million flight records. According to OAG, airBaltic achieved a punctuality rating of 94.4% for flights linking the Baltics with destinations in Europe, Middle East and Russia/CIS.

The airBaltic fleet consists of 24 aircraft – 12 Boeing 737 and 12 Bombardier Q400Next Gen. Soon 13 Bombardier CS300 will join the fleet.

Container trains

Latvia among the Baltic States has the best experience in the development of container trains. Currently there are 3 specialized container train routs operated regularly:

  • Baltic States – Central Asia – „Baltika Transit”
  • Rīga – Moscow – Rīga - „Rīgas Ekspresis”
  • Latvia – Belarus– Ukraine - „ZUBR”
  • Northern distribution network

Among the top priorities of Latvia it is to attract Chinese cargo to European transport corridor ensuring further distribution of goods to Scandinavian market. It is planned to extend the route of “Baltika Transit” to China. First test trains both from Eastern coast and Northwest of China have already practically proved their efficiency.

Pilot project between China and Latvia

Test train was organized in 2008

4 countries were involved:

- China, Kazahstan, Russia, Latvia
- Cargo: 96 TEU with tomato pasta

Further form Latvia cargo was delivered partly to Germany and Italy using road and sea transport.

Demonstrated results:

- 10 day transit time from Dostyk to Riga terminal
- 14 days in total from Urumqi to door in Central EU

Logistics centres

Latvia has developed a large logistic infrastructure and extensive services:

  • Bonded warehouses
  • Logistics warehouses
  • Warehouses for food products, veterinary goods, cold storages.

An important addition to freight logistics is the assembly, packing, handling and processing of goods and cargoes. These activities are already close to industrial activities and the most important partner ensuring development of industrial parks is Latvian Industrial Park Association.

Both local and internationally recognized logistic enterprises are active in Latvia in this sector. Basically they have joined together in two professional associations:

Given that Latvia is located in the middle of the Baltic States, in 24 hours goods can be supplied to any particular shop in the Baltic States, as well as to Helsinki, Stockholm, Warsaw, and in 48 hours - to Scandinavia. This can be ensured due to efficient work of warehouses, regular ferry traffic and wide road network.

Special Economic Zones

There are two Freeports and two Special Economic Zones with special tax regimes.

Freeport and Special Economic Zone status provides for substantial tax reductions:

  • Status of licenced company allows to receive direct tax relieves
  • Licensed company fulfilling certain requirements of Free zone regime can receive both direct and indirect tax relieves
  • Port authorities in cooperation with Latvian railway provide infrastructure for access to new terminals or industrial projects

Tax relieves:

Direct taxes

  • Income tax 80%
  • Real estate duty 80-100%

Indirect taxes

  • Value added tax 100%
  • Excise tax 100%
  • Customs duty 100%

Transport and logistics business associations

There are several non-governmental organizations active in all transport sectors:

  1. Latvian Logistics Association
  2. Baltic Association - Transport and Logistics
  3. Latvian Association of freight forwarders and logistics LAFF
  4. Association “Latvijas Auto”
  5. Latvian Stevedore Companies Association

Railway transport

Railway market in Latvia is liberalized. Main freight forwarders are SIA „LDZ CARGO”, AS „Baltijas Tranzīta serviss” and AS „Baltijas Ekspresis”.

Latvian Railway holding company consisting of State Joint Stock Company ”Latvijas dzelzceļš” and its subsidiary companies is the manager of Latvian railway infrastructure, providing comprehensive rail transport services, as well as rolling stock maintenance services. The holding is the biggest employer in Latvia employing in total more than 15 000 people.

The leading company is the SJC ”Latvijas dzelzceļš”

Freight transportation is ensured by its subsidiary company "LDZ Cargo"

Logistic services are provided by the subsidiary company of “LDZ Cargo” - ”LDZ Cargo Loģistika”

”LDZ Cargo Loģistika” is the leading railway freight carrier in the Baltic States. The company provides freight forwarding and logistics services, International export, import and transit deliveries by rail in the territories of the Baltic and CIS countries; processing of freight transportation documentation; arranging custom formalities; a.o. services. “LDZ Cargo Loģistika” is official agent of Russian leading intermodal container operator OJSC „ТransContainer” in Latvia and the operator of container train “ ZUBR” .

Road transport

Latvian road network is included in TEN-T.

The management of the state road network is performed by JSC "Latvijas Valsts ceļi"

Latvian transport infrastructure has all necessary preconditions to contribute to the economic growth of the country and to offer a wide range of transit services thus contributing to the export of services. Latvian international road carriers are the most competitive in the region. They freely operate in the EU market and taking advantage of their experience and Russian language skills provide qualitative, efficient and reliable transportation services to Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and other CIS countries.

Latvian road carriers are active in the international transport market. One of the newest, most modern, EU compliant and largest road transport parks in Europe is located in Latvia. By the end of 2018 there were 4300 international road carriers and 274 local road carriers licensed in the country.

Number of licensed road carriers in Latvia *

2018* - data available for 31 December 2018

Freight vehicles used for international transportation distributed in ecological classes, %

76,7 million tons of cargo was transported by road transport in 2018, that is 12,8% more than in 2017. The main road transport market has always focused on such CIS countries as Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, as well as Ukraine and Central European countries. However, in 2018, under the global influence, most of the road transport registered in Latvia carried the cargo to Lithuania, Estonia, Russia and Germany.

Road carriers (90%) are joined together in the association “Latvijas Auto”

Border crossing

Private sector investment proposals

Latvian logistics sector welcomes new foreign investments and, as it was already mentioned above, Freeports and Special Economic Zones of Latvia offer significant tax reliefs for implementation of investment projects. We encourage foreign companies to develop business in Latvia, offering a great opportunity to take active part in handling of international cargo flows. Among our top priorities is the attraction of Chinese goods and the development of distribution business in Latvia. In Latvian ports it is possible to create new terminals, to develop the already existing ones, to establish new warehouse blocks, even production units. Ministry of Transport actively cooperates with the entrepreneurs of the transport and logistics sector and with joint efforts private investment project proposals are gathered.

For more information (in PDF documents):

Ministry of transport of the country

Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Latvia
Gogoļa street 3, Riga, Latvia, LV-1743
Phone:+371 67028201

The presentation of the Director of Transit Policy Department of the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Latvia and the head of the 16+1 Logistics Secretariat Mr.Andris Maldups on the “Latvian logistics and cooperation with China”, during the first 16+1 Logistics Secretariat Focal Point meeting in Riga on September 14, 2017.

Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in the People's Republic of China

Villa 02-02, Area A, Liangmaqiao DRC
No. 22 Dongfang East Street
Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100600
People’s Republic of China
Tel: (010) 8532 3009
Fax: (010) 8532 1925