The Netherlands occupies a strategically significant geographical location that has earned it the name “the Gateway to Europe”. The Netherlands offers an outstanding base for international logistics because of its central location in the Eurodelta region and its extensive hinterland infrastructure. Nowhere else in Europe are such excellent and convenient combinations of sea and airport locations to be found. All commercial and industrial centres are within a few hours’ drive. This infrastructure, together with the international outlook so characteristic of the Netherlands, has played a major role in the strong development of the Dutch maritime industry.
As the gateway to Europe, the Netherlands’ major port attracted about 469 million tons of cargo flow in 2018, including containers, liquid and dry bulks, specialties like fruits and juices, gas and chemicals, and so on. Worldwide, the port of Rotterdam ranks sixth in terms of total tonnage and tenth in containers. Within Europe, it is the number one container port as well as in tonnage. Nowadays, Rotterdam also promotes itself as a ‘brainport’, as it is an innovative port and it offers easy access to top-quality logistics and financial expertise.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is only a short distance from the port of Rotterdam (60 kilometres) and has over 300 destinations. This means that expertise in any line of business can be flown in at short notice.
The port of Amsterdam is a popular destination for cruise ships, as well as being a major European industrial port (number four in north-western Europe). Next to these there are another three larger seaports: Moerdijk, Zeeland Seaports (in the Scheldt estuary) and Groningen Seaports (in the northeastern part of the Netherlands). Together, Dutch ports account for a 48% market share in the Hamburg-Le Havre area. These flourishing ports have all created logistical networks and distribution patterns at ever-advancing levels of sophistication.