How are goods transported through the Netherlands?
In 2020, a total of 1.7 billion tonnes of goods, packaging material included, were transported over Dutch territory and Dutch territorial waters. This is about the same weight as the water in 678 full Olympic swimming pools.
Most goods are carried by trucks in road haulage; in 2020, this amounted to 767 million tonnes, which is 45 percent of the total. Seagoing vessels accounted for a third of the transport at 558 million tonnes, while inland shipping contributed a fifth of transport at 338 million tonnes. Transport by rail and by air account for 2.0 and 0.1 percent respectively of goods transport through the Netherlands.
Four types of goods transport through the Netherlands
The goods transportnoot1 on Dutch territory consists of four flows. First, goods that are loaded and unloaded in the Netherlands (domestic transport: 675 million tonnes in 2020). Second, goods that are transported from the Netherlands to other countries (transport abroad: 427 million tonnes), goods that are transported from abroad to the Netherlands (supply from abroad: 539 million tonnes) and goods that are both loaded and unloaded abroad, but are transported across Dutch territory (transit: 60 million tonnes).
82 percent domestic transport by road
In 2020, 675 million tonnes of the 1.7 billion tonnes of goods transported over Dutch territory went to and from a location in the Netherlands. This domestic transport travelled 82 percent by road, with 554 million tonnes. Transport by inland shipping comes second with 116 million tonnes, which is 17 percent. Transport by rail follows with 3 million tonnes (0.4 percent) and last is transport by seagoing vessel with 2 million tonnes (0.3 percent).
|vervoer||Road haulage||Maritime transport||Inland shipping||Rail transport||Aviation|
|Weight carried over Dutch territory||766.7||557.6||338.3||36.7||1.6|
|Weight of domestic transport||553.7||2.2||115.9||2.2||0.0|
Over half is bulk transport
Over half of all goods transported through the Netherlands, i.e. 925 million tonnes, were transported in bulk unpackaged. These often involved raw materials such as petroleum, or agricultural products such as cereal. In addition, 14 percent of goods, this being 232 million tonnes, had been shipped in containers. These are usually finished products, e.g. packaged items, but also food products, agricultural products or chemical products. The rest was transported on pallets or involved cabled transport, for example.
Most goods transport to and from Groot-Rijnmond
In 2020, most goods that were being loaded or unloaded in the Netherlands, went from and to the regions of Groot-Rijnmond, Greater Amsterdam, West Noord-Brabant, Noordoost-Noord-Brabant, Overig Zeeland and Utrecht. The Groot-Rijnmond region had by far the most weight loaded and unloaded, namely 334 million tonnes loaded and 406 million tonnes unloaded. This region is home to the Port of Rotterdam. Second comes the Greater Amsterdam region, with the Amsterdam port, where 97 million tonnes had been loaded and 119 million tonnes unloaded.
This does not include transit (60 million tonnes), as this transport does not involve loading or unloading in the Netherlands. The goods can be transhipped after unloading to be transported to other countries within or outside Europe. The region where loading or unloading takes place therefore need not be the original starting point or final destination.
|Coropnaam||Gross weight loaded|
|Coropnaam||Gross weight unloaded|
StatLine – Goods transport; modes and flows of transport to and from the Netherlands
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Packaging material is included in the transported weight in this section. The figures therefore differ slightly from those on StatLine, which presents the gross-plus weight, i.e. the transported weight including packaging materials and the transport unit.