Netherlands flag Netherlands: Buying and Selling

Arrange transport of goods to and from the Netherlands

Main Useful Means of Transport
According to the latest data from Eurostat, the Netherlands are the largest maritime freight transport country in Europe in 2018. At 605 million tons, the volume of seaborne goods handled in Dutch ports represented 16.8 % of the EU total in 2018. The gross weight of seaborne cargo handled at all ports in the Netherlands in 2018 is 35.1 tons per inhabitant.

Rotterdam is the first port of Europe, both in terms of the gross weight of goods handled and in terms of the volume of containers handled in the ports, and one of the most important in the world. In 2018 it handled 441.5 million tons of goods and 13.6 million TEUs. Another important port is Amsterdam, which is accessible via canal. In 2018, it handled 99.5 million of tons of goods. The Netherlands has an internal network of waterways covering 6,237 km, of which boats up to 50 tons can navigate through. In 2018 alone, ships carried 238 million tons of goods along Dutch waterways. This accounts for 30% of goods transported throughout the Netherlands. According to the Dutch Government, their long-term goal is to promote inland shipping and reduce traffic on the roads.

Although the Netherlands has a modern and vast road network. 139,124 kilometers of roads run through the Netherlands, including 3,654 kilometers of motorways. In 2018, trucks transported 680 million tons of goods domestically in the Netherlands or internationally through the Netherlands. The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment is responsible for both maintaining and improving the waterways. It plans to expand on the capacity of waterways, bridges and berths and improve the quality of its ports. In doing so the Ministry aims to make inland waterways a more significant feature of Dutch domestic transport and reduce the burden on road freight.

Transport through the Netherlands via inland waterway is the most economical and environmentally friendly option because of the small size of the country. While the domestic airline KLM covers a wide network with competitive prices, it is very expensive and not environmentally-friendly. Railway freight is another alternative to road transport. More than 7,000 kilometers of rails connect the country's cities and beyond. More than 21 million tons of freight were transported to and from Germany in 2019, followed by Italy with 5.5 million tons and Belgium with 1.6 million tons.
Port of Amsterdam
Port of Rotterdam
Port of Zeeland
Amsterdam Schipol Airport
Maastricht Airport
Rotterdam Airport
Sea Transport Organisations
Dutch Martime Network Foundation (in Dutch)
Maritime Research Institute Netherlands

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Latest Update: June 2024

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