The Belgian Freight
Forwarding Association


FORWARD Belgium is the national association defending the interests of the Belgian forwarding sector at all levels: local, national, European and global.

The association has the following objectives:

  • To defend the interests of forwarders, logistics service providers and customs representatives
  • To provide information, advice and assistance of general benefit to its members.
  • To protect professional ethics.
  • To secure a high professional level.
  • To ensure correct professional conduct.

Forwarding refers to, e.g., receiving, weighing, checking, taking samples, transporting, different kinds of processing, storage, customs clearance, insurance of all goods, sea and inland waterway chartering, shipping by rail, road, ship, air, multimodal transport, managing the full logistics of goods flows, drawing up documents, booking cargo, completing all kinds of formalities for customs and consular services and other authorities and institutions related to forwarding and transport.

These activities may be treated as commission forwarder or commission carrier.

About us

The history of VEA, the Association for Forwarding, Logistics and Goods interests in Antwerp dates back to 1905. At the time, the so-called "Cercle des Expéditeurs et Exportateurs Réunis" was set up to defend common professional interests in a spirit of solidarity.
Four years after its foundation, the Cercle des Expéditeurs was recognised as a professional association and changed its name to “Cercle des Expéditeurs, Exportateurs et Importateurs - Union professionnelle pour la protection du commerce d'expédition”.
The Cercle des Expéditeurs, Exportateurs et Importateurs had 83 members and began its recovery from damage caused by the First World War. It was not until 1920 that the association regained its former strength.
Founding of the Belgian Circle of Export and Import Traders.
The name circle was replaced by union.
Founding of FIATA (Fédération des Associations de Transitaires et Assimilés), defending the interests of forwarders worldwide.
VEA joined the initiative in setting up CEPA (Centrale des Employeurs au Port d'Anvers), the Central Organisation of Employers at the Port of Antwerp, within which the Union was allocated 3 seats on the Board of Directors and 1 seat on the Executive Committee.
Founding of GAMU - Groupement des Agents Maritimes d’Usines (Consortium of Maritime Agents).
The General Terms and Conditions of the Forwarders of Antwerp were ratified at the general meeting of October 20, 1938.
Transformation into the Antwerp Union of Forwarders - Professional Association for the Protection of the Forwarding Service.
Modification of the General Terms and Conditions of the Antwerp commission agent - forwarder. In collaboration with the city council and the private sector, the VEA launched the World Port Days. This led to the development of the public relations body of the Scheldt port, Assiport, in 1952.
The union took the initiative to set up the Belgian Federation of Forwarders, the national professional consortium, previously established under the name Belgian National Federation of Transport Operators.
The Antwerp Shipping Union, the General Union of Maritime Employees and the VEA joined forces to found the Professional Institute for Port Employees due to the shortage of personnel.
Foundation of the CNE, the Committee of North Sea Port Forwarding Agents, in an aim to promote closer cooperation between the port forwarder organisations in the Hamburg/Dunkirk area. The work of the secretariat was handled at the Union in Antwerp.
Founding of CLECAT(European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services), as the association of Commission Agents and Transport Intermediaries. This organisation was actively supported by the National Federation.
Antwerp’s General Freight Forwarding Terms were replaced by Belgian General Freight Forwarding Terms. Also, implementation of the insurance pool "Arex" (VZW) = insurance scheme offered to the Belgian forwarders/logistics service providers.
Creation of the so-called 'framework law' on the status of intermediaries in the field of goods transport.
VEA took the initiative to set up Railtrans NV.
With the support of the VEA, AGHA, the Antwerp Community for Port Affairs, was founded.
Founding of the General Flemish Freight Forwarding Association (AVEV) in cooperation with ADESO (Association of Freight Forwarders and Customs Agents of West and South Belgium).
Founding of CEB (Belgian Confederation of Forwarders), replacing the previous FEB (Belgian Federation of Forwarders).
Recognition of the FIATA Combined Transport Bill of Lading by the International Chamber of Commerce
Merger of GAMU (Consortium of Maritime Agents) into VEA and renamed Vereniging voor Expeditie, Logistiek en Goederenbelangen van Antwerpen (Antwerp Association for Forwarding, Logistics and Freight Interests).
100th anniversary of VEA.
Name changed to Vereniging Expediteurs Antwerpen (Antwerp Association for Forwarding)
VEA - henceforth to be known as FORWARD Belgium.