Half of goods from Rotterdam have foreign destination

In 2017, 917 million tonnes of goods were loaded onto inland vessels, lorries or trains in the Netherlands. Nearly one-quarter were transhipped in the Rotterdam port area. Over half of these transhipments had a foreign destination, according to new figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

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Goods transported to the hinterland by rail are most likely to originate from the Rotterdam port area. In 2017, railway transport represented a share of over 60 percent, as against 46.7 percent for inland waterway shipping. Road transport has a much lower share; 12 percent of all freight loaded onto lorries in the Netherlands was transhipped in the Rotterdam port area.

Goods loaded in the Netherlands by means of transport and origin, 2017
categoriesRotterdam port area (million tonnes)Other (million tonnes)
Road transport76.8567.5
Inland shipping114.9130.6
Rail transport1710.7

Four-fifths of goods transported by road from Rotterdam stay in the Netherlands

In 2017, the Rotterdam port area handled 208 million tonnes of outbound shipments by inland waterway, rail or road. Most of these goods were carried by inland vessels (54.9 percent), followed by hauliers (36.9 percent). The remaining 8.2 percent of goods loaded at the port were transported by rail. Aside from hinterland transport, some goods continue their journey directly via sea and some are also transported further by pipeline.

Of all freight loaded onto lorries in Rotterdam, 80 percent was destined for the Dutch market. The majority of goods carried by inland vessel or train, on the other hand, had a foreign destination.

Goods loaded in Rotterdam port area by destination, 2017
categoriesThe Netherlands (%)Foreign destination (%)
Road transport80.119.9
Inland shipping29.570.5
Rail transport7.192.9

Most shipments to Germany

The largest foreign destination of goods loaded at the Rotterdam port area is Germany. More than two-thirds were carried east to be unloaded in Germany. Shipments destined for Germany were predominantly carried by train (76.5 percent) and inland vessel (70 percent). This was the case for 44 percent of road transport. Belgium follows Germany as the largest destination for inland navigation and road haulage. For rail transport, this is Italy.

Goods loaded in Rotterdam port area by foreign destination, 2017
categoriesGermany (%)Belgium (%)France (%)Italy (%)Other countries (%)
Inland shipping7026.4201.6
Road transport4422.411.31.221.1
Rail transport76.50.90.51210.1

Mainly coal and ore destined for Germany

Two-thirds of all goods carried by inland vessel and train from the Port of Rotterdam to Germany in 2017 concerned ore (42.5 percent) and coal (25 percent). Road transport mainly concerned container cargo and agricultural and food products.