Traffic and transport
In 2018, 1.71 billion tonnes of goods were transported to, from and within the Netherlands. This represents a year-on-year increase of 1.2 percent, entirely due to more freight traffic by road (1.6 percent) and by sea (1.5 percent).
In 2018, the total volume of incoming and outgoing cargo shipments to and from Dutch seaports reached a historic high of almost 605 million tonnes.
On 1 January 2019, there were nearly 45 thousand fully electric vehicles (FEVs) in the Netherlands, twice the number recorded one year previously.
In 2018, Dutch lorries carried a total of 680 million tonnes of goods. This is 2.1 percent more than in the previous year. Both national and international transport to and from the Netherlands by Dutch road hauliers increased last year.
Nearly 80 percent of the Dutch population aged 17 and over hold a valid car driving licence. At the start of 2019, just under 11.2 million people were holding a Dutch passenger car licence category B, i.e. one percent more people than one year previously.
10 percent more aircraft movements to and from the Caribbean Netherlands in 2018, 11 percent more passengers
In 2018, Dutch airports handled 79.6 million arrivals and departures. The total stood at 76.2 milion in the previous year. In 2008, a total of 50 million passengers used Dutch airports.
Goods are increasingly transferred to logistics hubs before onward transportation, often to or from the Port of Rotterdam.
Dutch vehicle traffic reached unprecedented levels in 2017. The total annual mileage by road users including passenger cars, delivery vans, heavy goods vehicles and buses amounted to 147.6 billion kilometres.
In 2017, European lorries drove in and out of the United Kingdom almost 3.5 million times. 237 thousand such journeys were made by Dutch lorries, an increase of 1.8 percent on 2016. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
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.
In 2017, more than 41 million tonnes of goods in total were transported by rail from, to and via the Netherlands. Over 93 percent of this volume was loaded and/or unloaded abroad.
In 2017, 199 million tonnes of goods were transported by road from and to the Netherlands. This is an increase of 4.3 percent on the previous year.
In 2017, the Netherlands transported 1.69 billion tonnes of cargo, representing an increase of 1.4 percent on the previous year.
More and more people aged 75 or older in the Netherlands own a car.
Container transhipment increased substantially at Dutch seaports in 2017.
Coal supply to Dutch seaports dropped by nearly 7 percent to 50 million tonnes in 2017.
On 1 January 2018, there were nearly 22 thousand fully electric vehicles (FEVs) in the Netherlands, up almost 60 percent on one year previously.
Although air traffic increased in the Caribbean Netherlands, the volume of passengers dropped by over 6 percent in 2017.
Car ownership and driving licence ownership of young adult students and workers.
In 2017, Dutch road hauliers carried 666 million tonnes of cargo, an increase of 1.5 percent over 2016.
Transhipment, onward transportation of unloaded containers to other seaports outside Holland, increased by nearly 30%
Amsterdam Schiphol and the other four large airports recorded an increase in passenger arrivals and departures in 2017.
In 2017, inland vessels transported over 368 million tonnes of goods over Dutch waterways.
International goods flows to and from the Netherlands in 2016
Entrepreneurs in the motor vehicle industry achieved nearly 4 percent more turnover in Q3 2017.
Road haulage to and from the Netherlands and by home country of haulier.
Lorry journeys by engine emission standard (European emission standard for lorries)
On container shipments arriving in the Port of Rotterdam.
Foreign lorries carried over 40 million tonnes in goods across Dutch borders in 2015.
Number of electric cars on Dutch roads growing, despite a decline in sales.
In 2016, there were 629 traffic deaths, 8 more than in 2015.
Dutch road hauliers carried 2.5 percent more goods in 2016, mainly in the Netherlands.
The development of goods flows to and from the Netherlands in 2015: imports, exports, transit trade, re-exports.
The number of people travelling by ferry from the Netherlands to the UK and vice versa has risen again in recent years.
CBS, Heerlen start Urban Data Center
The volume of goods transported in the Netherlands reached a new record last year.
Nearly 60 million passengers going via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
In 2015, Dutch lorries made more than 162 thousand trips to carry goods to the United Kingdom.
Is it possible to combine new data sources, like road sensors in motorways, GPS data and camera footage with information from questionnaires?
Fewer cooled and frozen goods imported in containers in Dutch seaports last year.
Early 2016 the number of plug-in hybrids had doubled relative to 2015.
Last year, Dutch car sales grew more rapidly than on average in the European Union. More than 13.7 million new passenger cars were sold across the EU last year, i.e. 9 percent more than in 2014. Car sales in the Netherlands rose by 16 percent to 449 thousand.
On average, European hauliers made 158 thousand international road transport trips carrying loads across one or more European borders every day in 2014. Dutch transport companies accounted for more than 13 percent, i.e. 21 thousand trips. With an average of 28 thousand, only Polish lorry drivers made more international trips every day.
Dutch ports are the backbone of the Dutch economy. To stay ahead of international competition, data traffic is playing an increasingly critical role. ‘Ports used to be all about goods, ships and cargo traffic, but now it is more and more about data management,’ states Marten van der Velde of Port Base, the company which coordinates and controls data traffic on behalf of the Dutch ports. ‘Only by sharing and exchanging all your data throughout the entire transport chain can you stay in the lead’.
Dutch ports handled a total of nearly 570 million tons of goods in 2014. Nearly half (48 percent) was carried by coastal shipping also referred to as short sea shipping. The rest of the goods were carried across the ocean. Coastal shipping is dominated by crude oil carriage.
As of 1 January 2016, the Netherlands will assume the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) for a period of six months. During this period, Statistics Netherlands’ Director General Dr Tjark Tjin-A-Tsoi will chair the EU Council Working Party on Statistics.
After three years of slumping sales, an increase in commercial vehicle sales was recorded during the first nine months of 2015. The number of sales of new lorries and tractor units for semitrailers grew noticeably.
Removal companies realised almost 6 percent more turnover in the first quarter of 2015 than in the same quarter of 2014. This meant that turnover increased for six quarters in a rowTurnover in the transport sector fell by almost 13 percent in 2009. Removal companies were particularly hard hit. Couriers managed to recover quickly. They saw their turnover increase for four years in a row, their turnover levels in 2014 were 23 percent higher than in 2010.
The number of cars has increased sharply this century: from over 6.3 million in 2000 to nearly 8 million in 2015, a 25 percent increase. Motorcycle and moped numbers also increased, but freight vehicle numbers fell.
According to Statistics Netherlands nearly a quarter of all goods unloaded in the Port of Rotterdam originate from China. The number of containers coming from china had increased by 9 percent in 2014.
This fact sheet shows information about transport flows to and from the Port of Rotterdam and the number of ships entering, and compares its importance and size with other major European ports.
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that container transhipment in Dutch sea ports has risen by 9 percent in 2014.
At the beginning of 2015, nearly 300 thousand cars in the Netherlands were aged 25 years or older, 14 thousand fewer than one year previously. The number of 25 to 40-year-old diesel and LPG-powered passenger cars has declined significantly. The number of classic cars built at least 40 years ago is still growing.
Altogether, Dutch hauliers covered 470 million km in Belgium last year. The introduction in 2016 of the kilometre levy on Belgian roads threatens to cost the Dutch road transport sector tens of millions of euros on an annual basis.
Last year, 570 people were killed in traffic accidents in the Netherlands. After a substantial decline by 12 percent in 2013, the number of traffic deaths remained stable in 2014.
According to figures released today by Statistics Netherlands, the Dutch car trade and repairs branch, the largest branch in the automotive sector, realised a net turnover of 29 billion euros in 2014. This is just over 3 percent down on 2013 and nearly 25 percent less than in 2007, the last peak before the crisis set in. There was a slight recovery in the first two months of 2015: just over 80 thousand new cars were sold in this period, 5 percent more than in the first two months of 2014.
Last year, 156 thousand hybrid cars were registered in the Netherlands, a fourfold increase relative to five years ago. They covered an overall distance of 2.5 billion kilometres. Last year, more than 30 thousand new hybrid cars were sold, three-quarters were company-owned.
For the first time in history, the number of passengers travelling through Dutch airports broke the 60 million barrier last year; 90 percent of them travelled through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The number of passengers travelling through Eindhoven Airport also increased substantially.
The carriage of goods by inland waterways has risen by 3 percent last year. Total turnover increased, but has as yet not reached the pre-recession level.
The volume of goods arriving in Dutch seaports rose by 24 percent between 2000 and 2013. Last year, 388 million tonnes of goods arrived by sea, mostly bulk and container goods. The number of ships entering Dutch ports rose by 5 percent. Seaports are handling larger and larger vessels. The increase in scale in sea shipping is especially visible in the transport of dry bulk and container transport.
Ninety percent of goods loaded on to road vehicles, inland vessels or trains in the Netherlands are subsequently transported across a distance of less than 300 kilometres. The shorter the road distance, the larger the share accounted for by Dutch road hauliers
On 1 January this year, 7.9 million passenger cars were registered in the Netherlands, versus more than 5 million twenty-five years ago. The bulk, 7.1 million cars, are privately owned. The car ownership rate per 1,000 residents across the Netherlands equals 420.
Last year, more than 58 million passengers travelled through Dutch airports, versus 46 million in 2009. Due to the considerable growth in the number of passengers, airports boasted better turnover results.
In the fourth quarter of 2013, turnover generated by the transport sector rose by nearly 1 percent relative to one year previously. Total annual turnover over 2013 also grew by nearly 1 percent to nearly 75 billion euros.
The amount of goods carried by Dutch hauliers in 2012 was substantially down from 2005. Eastern European countries (Poland in particular) are becoming increasingly important, but Dutch hauliers still have a relatively large share in international road haulage.
In the second quarter of this year, turnover generated by the motor vehicle industry was 16 percent below the level of the second quarter of 2012. Car dealers suffered most. Providers of repair and maintenance services performed relatively well. Within the motor vehicle industry, only lorry sales improved marginally.
Turnover generated by the transport sector in the second quarter of 2013 was 0.5 percent up from the same period last year. Airlines and courier firms were the main contributors to the positive result.
In the first quarter of 2013, turnover generated by road transport companies was 1 percent down from one year previously, whereas in 2012 turnover still improved.
Fewer young people own are cars, but the car ownership rate among older people is growing. The total number of cars, mopeds and motorcycles in the Netherlands is still growing, though less rapidly.
Turnover generated by airline companies improved 8 percent last year to reach nearly 11 billion euros. The growing number of passengers and fuel prices passed on to consumers created a turnover boost.
Early 2011, half of over-18s had a car registered in their name. On paper, more men than women are registered as car owners.
East European lorries carry more and more goods to and from the Netherlands; between 2007 and 2011 their share increased from 8 to 12.5 percent.
Turnover generated by the transport sector improved by more than 2 percent in the last quarter of 2012 relative to the fourth quarter of 2011. Annual turnover over the entire year 2012 grew by 3 percent. Only a few transport branches reported a downturn.
Turnover in the Dutch transport sector grew by just over 3 percent in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the same quarter in 2011. It was the tenth quarter in a row that turnover in this sector rose. Most branches, including aviation and courier services saw business rise.
The twelve Dutch provinces expect to collect 1,451 million euro from the surcharge on motor vehicle tax in 2013. This is 5 million less than in 2012. It will be the first time that revenues from this provincial surtax decrease since its introduction in 1981.
On an average working day in 2011, there were 2.4 million cars on the Dutch roads during the morning rush hour versus nearly 2.8 million during the evening rush hour.
The present index series are generally based on 2005 = 100. To keep these index series up to date, a base shift is introduced every fives years. In 2013 the base year 2005 will be replaced by base year 2010 (2010 = 100).
Nearly 50 million international air passengers travelled to and from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in 2011, a record. 28 million of these passengers travelled within the European Union.
In the second quarter of 2012, turnover generated by freight forwarders grew by 3 percent versus a turnover growth by nearly 6 percent to 13 billion euro in 2011.
Companies bought nearly 26 percent more new cars in the second quarter of 2012 than in the corresponding quarter of 2011. Purchases by private individuals fell by 7 percent in the second quarter of 2012. In this period two out of three new cars were bought by companies.
Turnover of Dutch moving companies in the first quarter of 2012 was up by nearly 2 percent on the first quarter of 2011. Slightly more people are moving house again since the third quarter of 2011.
Turnover in the various branches of the goods transport sector declined marginally in the first quarter of 2012. The economic recession played an important part in this respect.
The number of travellers to and from Dutch national airports reached an unprecedented nearly 54 million in 2011.
Last year, 206 thousand new passenger cars were sold which were exempt from BPM (tax on new passenger cars and motorcycles), i.e. more than 3.5 times as many as in 2009. Government revenues from BPM were reduced by 1.3 billion euro relative to 2008.
New motorcycle sales have declined in recent years and half of new motorcycles are sold to people over the age of 40. One in eight motorcycles were owned by persons over the age of 60 last year.
On an average day in 2010, nearly half of over-75s were housebound. Physical limitations in particular prevented them from leaving the house.
In 2010 Dutch passenger cars averaged 13.3 thousand kilometres a year in the Netherlands and abroad. This is 2.1 percent less than in 2009.
Dutch hauliers carried nearly 6 million tons of goods from the Netherlands to France in 2010, making France the third largest market for international road transport after Germany and Belgium. Altogether, 80 percent of goods carried from the Netherlands to other countries went to Belgium and Germany, 12 percent had France as its final destination.
Light mopeds have increased much faster in number than heavier mopeds in recent years. At the start of 2011 there were 475 thousand light and 527 thousand heavier mopeds in the Netherlands.
Three quarters of children aged between 4 and 12 did not travel unaccompanied in 2010.
In 2009, 84 percent of the 971 thousand delivery vans in the Netherlands were registered in the name of an enterprise.
Turnover generated by inland shipping was nearly 20 percent higher in the second quarter of 2011than in the same period last year. This is partly due to the low water level.
The number of new commercial vehicles and passenger cars sold in the second quarter of 2011 increased by nearly 22 and 19 percent respectively relative to the same period last year, i.e. considerably above the average level across the European Union (EU).
Dutch international road transport mainly carries goods to regions just across the Dutch border. More than 80 percent of international road transport was loaded up or unloaded in Germany or Belgium and more than half in regions just across the Dutch border.
Although the total number of cars registered in the Netherlands has grown by a million since 2005, the nuisance caused by road traffic has hardly changed. Speeding is still the main source of annoyance in urban as well as rural areas.
Nearly 24 thousand containers (half a million tons of goods) with cold-stored and deep-frozen products are transported overseas to the Netherlands every month.
Foreign hauliers are becoming more important in Dutch road transport. From each 100 tons of goods loaded in the Netherlands, 6.4 tons were carried by foreign hauliers versus 5.5 tons in 2005.
On 1 January 2011 fewer cars were registered in the names of companies than on 1 January 2010 when there had also been a year-on-year decline.
The number of passengers departing from and arriving at regional airports has grown substantially. Last year 3.5 million passengers travelled to and from airports in the municipalities of Groningen, Maastricht, Eindhoven or Rotterdam versus 2.9 million in 2009, an increase by 18 percent.
Last year, 59 thousand working days were lost to strikes in the Netherlands. In nearly four in ten strike days, the disputes concerned collectively negotiated (CAO) wages.
Turnover of courier service companies was more than 2 percent higher in the fourth quarter of 2010 than in the fourth quarter of 2009. This is the first turnover growth since the global recession set in in the fourth quarter of 2008, but turnover is still far below the pre-crisis level.
Car and motorcycle sales were nearly 9 percent higher in 2010 than in 2009. With more than 19 percent, importers of new passenger cars realised the largest turnover growth.
Turnover growth in the transport sector increased by nearly 3 percent in 2010 relative to the preceding year.
On average, people in the Netherlands lived 5.1 kilometres (km) away from the nearest railway station in 2008.
Public transport companies have recently modernised their bus fleets. On 1 January 2002, regular-services buses were on average 9.4 years old, the same age as tourist coaches.
Cabotage hauliers carried 77 million tons of goods in the European Union (EU) in 2009. Dutch hauliers accounted for 13 million tons.
Turnover of removal companies in the Netherlands was 4 percent lower in the third quarter of 2010 than in the third quarter of 2009.
Provincial authorities expect to receive 1.441 billion euro from the surcharge on motor vehicle tax in 2011. This is 1.9 percent more than in 2010, and the smallest increase since the turn of the century.
Turnover of companies in the transport sector was 5 percent higher in the third quarter of 2010 than in the same quarter last year.
Nearly 7 thousand kilometres were added to the Dutch road network over the past decade. With more than 137 thousand kilometres, the total length of the network stretches halfway to the moon.
Substantially more new cars were sold in the Netherlands in the third quarter of 2010 than the year before. The car sales are higher than in Germany and Belgium.
On average, people in the Netherlands live 0.9 kilometres from their nearest supermarket. Eight out of ten Dutch people have at least one supermarket within a kilometre of their home.
Turnover in the Dutch transport sector was on average 1.4 percent lower in the first quarter of 2010 than in the same quarter last year. In all four preceding quarters the fall in turnover was more than 10 percent.
Because of the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud, the number of air passengers passing through Dutch airports was much lower in April this year than in the same month last year. The cloud also tempered the growth in air cargo transport.
In the first quarter of 2010, sea shipping rates were 12 percent higher than In the previous quarter.
In April 2010, nearly 50 thousand new commercial vehicles were sold, a decline by 9 percent relative to one year previously. The decline is less substantial than in the first two months of 2010 and mainly concerned heavy lorries.
The proportion of car drivers in fatal road accidents is higher in the 18–25 age category than among over-25s. Young drivers also more often crash into trees, crash barriers or posts.
Nearly one quarter more cars were scrapped in the Netherlands in 2009 than in 2008. Although older cars were traded in for newer ones, the total car fleet in the Netherlands still grew older.
Last year, 720 people were killed on Dutch roads, a reduction by 30 (4 percent) relative to 2008. The reduction is mainly recorded among 30 to 60-year-olds and motorists.
The average distance for Dutch residents to the nearest secondary school is 2.4 km. Nine in ten residents have at least one school within a 5 km radius.
Loss of turnover in the transport sector was nearly 13 percent last year compared to 2008. Maritime transport, air transport, forwarding agents and inland shipping suffered most.
Last year, car and motorcycle sales were nearly 17 percent down on 2008. The sales collapse is predominantly caused by the worldwide recession and the lack of trust as shown by consumers and the private sector.
On 1 January last year, moped ownership in the Netherlands totalled 874 thousand vehicles, an increase by 22 percent relative to two years ago. Regular and light mopeds are gaining increasing popularity in the adult population.
The volume of passengers and cargo shipped through Dutch airports declined further in the third quarter of 2009 relative to one year previously, but the decline slowed down compared to the first and second quarter of 2009. The economic crisis has had a negative impact on the air transport sector since the third quarter of 2008.
In the period 2000-2009, the number of car owners over the age of 65 has risen considerably. Among over-80s, car ownership even doubled.
In 2008, foreign lorries and articulated vehicles travelled 800 million kilometres on Dutch roads, a 2 percent decrease relative to 2007. If all types of vehicles are taken into account, the total distance grew by 2 percent to 127 billion kilometres in 2008.
In the third quarter of 2009, international road haulage rates were more than 4 percent down on last year’s third quarter. International courier services were 3.5 percent cheaper.
Total length of the inland waterway system of the Netherlands exceeds 6 thousand kilometres. Within the European Union (EU), the Netherlands takes up third place after Finland and Germany.
In the fourth quarter of last year, 132 million tons of goods were shipped to and from Dutch seaports, 6.5 percent down on the previous quarter. The downturn is more substantial than the 3.2 percent downturn in the fourth quarter of 2001 as a result of the 9-11 attacks in the US. If the entire year 2008 is taken into account, sea carriage still grew relative to 2007.
In the first six months of this year, turnover generated by courier service companies was nearly 13 percent down on the same period in 2008.
Dutch motorcyclists are growing older. While their average in 2000 was 39 years, this has risen to 45 years in 2009.
More than six in ten people in the Netherlands live within 5 km from a hospital. The Randstad region has the highest hospital density.
The overall value of bicycles manufactured in the European Union amounted to 1.9 billion in 2008. More than 30 percent were produced in the Netherlands, making it Europe’s largest bike manufacturer.
Turnover of the transport sector declined by nearly 12 percent in the first quarter of 2009 relative to the same period in 2008. Last year, the transport sector realised a turnover growth of 3 percent.
The number of hybrid cars registered in the Netherlands rose further in 2008. From 11.3 thousand hybrid cars on Dutch roads on 1 January 2008, the number more than doubled to 23 thousand one year later.
Prices in Dutch sea shipping were 15.5 percent lower in the first quarter of this year compared with the previous quarter. Shipping companies have substantially reduced rates for container transport in particular.
Most people live in the vicinity of their GP, but the road distance to the nearest out-of-hours GP centre is longer, in particular for people living in rural areas. The GP rate in rural areas is much lower than in major cities
The number of new commercial vehicles sold in the first quarter of 2009, was 30 percent lower than in the same quarter of 2008. Sales of second-hand commercial vehicles remained all but stable.
In the first quarter of 2009, lease car prices were 4.3 percent higher than one year previously. This is mainly due to a steep drop in prices for second-hand cars.
The Dutch spend 11 times as much on cars as they do on public transport, but public transport rates rise faster. In January 2009, public transport prices increased by 3.5 percent, the largest price increase since January 2004.
Dutch car dealers faced a turnover loss of 4.5 percent in 2008. Last year, disappointing sales figures were recorded and the trend continued into the first month of 2009, although 2 percent more cars were sold to private owners in 2008 than in the previous year.
The Dutch railway network is the busiest in the European Union.
In the first six months of 2008, the volume of diesel fuel consumed by road traffic vehicles increased by 3.5 percent relative to the same period in 2007.
The average distance covered by car on Sundays is 190 kilometres, as against 270 kilometres on weekdays, hence the Dutch roads are quieter on Sundays, but the car occupancy rate is higher.
One in four Dutch commutes was done by bicycle in 2007. The average distance cyclists covered per journey was 4 kilometres, taking just over 15 minutes on average.
In spite of the fact that more cars were sold in the second quarter of 2008, turnover in this branch was lower.
On 1 January last year, 7.2 million cars were registered in the Netherlands, an average of 214 per square kilometre. In neighbourhoods where the average house value is low, car density tends to be higher.
Nearly one tenth of Dutch public transport users occasionally feel so unsafe that they opt for an alternative or prefer to stay at home.
In the first quarter of 2008, car lease rates dropped by nearly 2 percent relative to the previous quarter.
More and more cars start a new life abroad instead of being dismantled in Dutch scrap yards.
Transport of passengers and goods through Dutch airports continued to grow in 2007.
In 2007, 37 percent of people in the Netherlands reported being bothered by traffic in the neighbourhood where they lived. Most of the problems concerned speeding, but traffic noise and aggressive driving were also often reported.
The Netherlands has one of the shortest railway networks in western Europe. Together with Belgium and the United Kingdom, it does have the largest share of multiple track railway, however.
Private cars registered in the Netherlands averaged nearly 14 thousand kilometres in 2006, an increase by more than 5 percent relative to 2001. Company cars in particular covered more kilometres.
Revised version: Eightfold increase in petroleum shipped from Russian ports to the Netherlands since 2000
811 people were killed in road traffic accidents in the Netherlands in 2006.
The number of traffic deaths on Dutch roads was brought down again last year. In 2005, the traffic death toll was 817, a reduction by 64 compared to 2004.
1088 people were killed in traffic in the Netherlands in 2003 and 1066 in 2002. In the summer months of 2003 the number of traffic deaths increased substantially, but in the fourth quarter it fell. A growing number of children died in traffic. This was mainly due to the increase in the number of deaths of children in cars. The total number of traffic deaths among car passengers, however, fell in 2003.