Less cargo loaded and unloaded at Dutch seaports

The total volume of incoming and outgoing cargo shipments that passed through seaports in the Netherlands fell by 7.6 percent to 574 million tonnes in 2023. Both the quantity of goods unloaded and the quantity loaded declined. Goods arriving from Russia fell particularly sharply, while substantially more cargo arrived from the United States. This is according to new figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
In 2023, 396 million tonnes of goods were unloaded, which represents a decline of 8.6 percent year on year. The volume of outbound cargo destined for other countries also decreased by 5.1 percent to 178 million tonnes.

Fewer incoming shipments containing dry bulk products

Inbound freight of all kinds declined, in particular dry bulk goods (down by 17.1 percent), with coal declining the most at 32 percent. Fewer coal shipments were received in the Netherlands (down from 8.5 million tonnes in 2022 to 100 thousand tonnes in 2023), particularly from Ukraine. Fewer shipments of ore arrived too (down by 2.3 percent).
Inbound and outbound maritime shipments
Verschijningsvorm2023 (million tonnes)2022 (million tonnes)
Liquid bulk goods194.8202.0
Dry bulk goods109.1131.5
Containerised goods73.076.7
General cargo
Liquid bulk goods69.973.9
Dry bulk goods20.821.0
Containerised goods 63.369.4
General cargo
1) Roll-on-Roll-off units. This refers to wheeled freight-carrying equipment.

Imports of petroleum and petroleum products down, and fewer containers

Total inbound liquid bulk goods, which includes gas, petroleum and petroleum products, decreased by 3.5 percent in 2023, with the latter group failling by 5.1 percent. However, there was an increase of 61.4 percent in petroleum and petroleum products arriving from the United States, the country with the largest share. The second-largest supplier was the United Kingdom, which saw a decline of 11.1 percent. Petroleum and petroleum products arriving from Russia, the largest supplier before the war in Ukraine started, fell sharply (down by 77 percent), as they did in 2022.

In 2023, fewer container goods were unloaded at Dutch seaports. The total weight of containerised goods arriving fell by 4.6 percent, and the number of containers (in TEU) declined by 6.9 percent. More than a quarter of all containers arrived from China. Although the share of containers shipped from China remained unchanged, the number decreased by 5.5 percent.

In outbound goods, exports of liquid bulk and containerised goods declined in particular, down by 5.4 and 8.4 percent respectively.

Gas received from the US doubled

Incoming gas supplies rose by 25.5 percent. The majority (70 percent) came from the United States. Before 2022, Russia was the largest supplier. In 2023, 52.1 percent more gas came from the United States, while Russian gas supplies fell by 61.0 per cent.
Trends in bulk marine cargo arrivals, 2023
GoederensoortUnloaded (Year-on-year change (%))
Liquid bulk goods
Liquefied gas25.5
Petroleum products-12.3
Other liquid bulk goods-9.2
Dry bulk goods0.0
Agricultural products-10.3
Other dry bulk goods-13.5

Majority of goods came from the United States in 2023

The quantity of cargo arriving from the United States was 28.8 percent higher than in 2022. The US provided the largest share of inbound cargo at 58.5 million tonnes (14.8 percent). Russia had been the largest supplier in 2022, but that began to change in December 2022, due to additional EU sanctions on petroleum, petroleum products and coal from Russia. Only 2.7 percent of incoming goods came from Russia in 2023.

After the United States, the largest quantities of goods unloaded in 2023 arrived from the United Kingdom, Norway, Brazil and China, respectively.

Top 5 largest suppliers of inbound cargo, 2023
LandenLiquid bulk goods (million tonnes)Dry bulk goods (million tonnes)Container goods (million tonnes)RoRo1) (million tonnes)General cargo/other/unknown (million tonnes)
United States41.313.22.511.81.5
United Kingdom22.
1) Roll-on-Roll-off units. This refers to wheeled freight-carrying equipment.