Inland vessels transported 368 million tonnes in 2017

© Hollandse Hoogte
In 2017, inland vessels transported over 368 million tonnes of goods over Dutch waterways, 4.8 percent more than in 2007. Three-quarters (276 million tonnes) were carried by Dutch vessels. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on new figures on inland waterway transport.

Weight transported by inland vessels

Non-Dutch vessels on inland waterways mainly sail under a Belgian or German flag: 11 percent of the goods were transported by Belgium flag vessels and 8 percent by vessels sailing under a German flag.

Share in weight transported by inland vessels, by nationality

Both domestic and international shipments as well as transit shipments are mainly carried out by Dutch vessels. There has been a notable increase in the number of vessels of Luxembourg nationality. In 2017, these vessels carried over 11 million tonnes of goods accounting for 3 percent of total goods transport. Ten year previously, this was over 1.5 million tonnes of goods, i.e. 0.5 percent of total goods transport.

Increase in tanker shipping

Of all vessels flying the Luxembourg flag, 90 percent operate in tanker shipping. These vessels carried 10 million tonnes of liquid bulk cargo in total. This is 9 percent of total tanker transport on Dutch inland waterways in 2017, when 113 million tonnes of liquid bulk cargo were transported. Dry bulk transport amounted to more than 203 million tonnes and container transport stood at nearly 52 million tonnes. This means that tanker shipping currently accounts for 31 percent of total transport, versus 25 percent in 2007.

Cargo weight by type of cargo
 million tonnes (million tonnes)
Dry bulk cargo203.573
Liquid bulk cargo113.200
Container cargo51.961

Furthermore, a marked shift has taken place in transit shipments, with fewer Belgian vessels in direct transit compared to 2007. Their share in total transit shipments dropped from 26 percent to 20 percent; during the same period, the share of German vessels remained virtually unchanged. This transport has mainly been taken over by Dutch vessels.

Relative to 2016, German vessels transported less cargo from foreign ports of loading and unloading. This transport has partially been assumed by vessels sailing under a Dutch or Luxembourg flag.