More goods transported in 2017

© Hollandse Hoogte / David Rozing
In 2017, the Netherlands transported 1.69 billion tonnes of cargo, representing an increase of 1.4 percent on the previous year. Nearly all modes of transport showed an increase with the exception of transport by rail, which showed a decline. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in the annual goods transport monitor.

Cross-border transport grew twice as fast as domestic transport last year. Cross-border transport refers to goods transport between the Netherlands and other countries, where the place of either loading or unloading is located outside the Netherlands. More cargo was transported to and from the Netherlands by air and by road in particular. Aircraft carried 1.8 million tonnes of goods, equivalent to 0.2 percent of total transport to and from the Netherlands.

Weight transported, 2017
 year-on-year % change (year-on-year % change)
By air6.8
By road2.2
By maritime navigation1.1
By inland navigation0.9
By rail-6.1

Transport by rail declined for the first time in years

Rail transport was the only mode of transport not contributing to goods transport from, to and within the Netherlands. The volume transported by rail dropped by 6.1 percent in 2017, mainly because less coal was carried to Germany. Compared to 2016, coal transport to Germany was down by nearly one-quarter. The last time rail transport declined in weight was in 2012.

Goods transport in the Netherlands
   by maritime navigation (x million tonnes)by inland navigation (x million tonnes)by rail (x million tonnes)by road (x million tonnes)by air (x million tonnes)

Mainly more international transport

Compared to 2016, international transport grew by 1.7 percent to 1.03 billion tonnes. Nearly 58 percent of these goods were shipped by sea vessels. Throughput of maritime cargo in Dutch seaports rose by 1.2 percent in 2017, mainly because more containers were handled. The volume of bulk cargo shipments declined in 2017 on the previous year.

Domestic transport increased by 0.9 percent to 659 million tonnes, entirely attributable to road haulage. Total weight carried by rail and inland navigation dropped by 5.5 and 0.5 percent respectively.