Due to the relatively small size of the Netherlands and Belgium, there are not as many ports as in bigger coastal states of Europe. Most of the freight transport activity is thus concentrated in several main ports, namely the Port of Rotterdam, the Port of Amsterdam, and the Port of Antwerp.
The largest Dutch ports are Rotterdam and AmsterdamThe Port of Rotterdam is the biggest port in Europe and the 11th largest port in the world in terms of throughput. It is the main European port of access for goods shipped from East Asia. In 2021 alone, there were around 8.9 million containers handled at the port.
Owing to Amsterdam’s popularity with foreign tourists, its port generally attracts a huge number of cruise ships. In 2019, some 117 cruise ships docked at the Port of Amsterdam. The year 2020, however, saw a dramatic dip in cruise calls at the port. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port of Amsterdam has banned cruise ships from entering. As a result, no cruise ships docked at the Port of Amsterdam in the whole year of 2020.