The total weight carried by inland vessels mainly rose due to an increase in the transportation of dry bulk such as coal and iron ore. In 2021, dry bulk shipments (52 percent of total weight transported) increased by 7.6 percent to 191.8 million tonnes. Transportation of liquid bulk and container goods rose as well, by 4.4 and 2.2 percent respectively.
Turnover in inland waterway transport was more than 11 percent higher than in 2020 and comparable to 2019. This was not only due to the increase in transported goods, but also due to the higher tariffs.
|Soort vervoer||2020 (million tonnes)||2021 (million tonnes)|
More outbound shipments
Last year, inland vessels transported nearly 129 million tonnes of goods from the Netherlands to foreign destinations. This is an increase of 11.4 percent on the previous year. Transport to Germany, the main foreign destination of inland vessels, increased in particular. Coal shipments accounted for the largest share in this increase, rising by 43 percent year on year.
|vervoerstroom||Weight transported (year-on-year % change)|
Sharp increase in coal shipments
In 2021, inland vessels transported 28.6 million tonnes of coal, nearly 35.0 percent more than in 2020. Transport of basic metals, coke and refined petroleum products was up as well, by 40.0 and 5.1 percent respectively. Metal ores and other minerals remained the most transported goods by inland vessels, despite a slight decrease. In 2021, transport of metal ores amounted to 90.4 million tonnes, 0.4 percent less than in 2020.
|Goederen||2021 (million tonnes)||2020 (million tonnes)|
|Metal ores and other minerals||90.4||90.7|
|Coke and refined petroleum products||83.9||79.6|
|Coal and lignite, crude oil|
and natural gas
More and more shipments by bulk carriers
Bulk carriers transported an average of 1,725 tonnes per movement in 2021. This represents a year-on-year increase of 4.4 percent. The average weight transported by container ships stood at 1,245 tonnes, almost the same as in 2020. The average carrying capacity of bulk carriers has expanded as well in recent years. In 2021, it amounted to 2,238 tonnes, 17.9 percent more than ten years previously.