Shipping to and from the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a major gateway to Europe and an exporting nation. The country is one of the most crucial hubs on the continent, as its port of Rotterdam is the biggest in Europe. Via this port flow a lot of goods to and from Europe. In this article, we present issues related to shipping to and from the Netherlands.

Shipping to and from the Netherlands – sea freight

Maritime transportation is the most popular method of shipping goods to faraway destinations. It is the most eco-friendly way to ship. You can ship a whole container (Full Container Load) or use only a part of its room (Less than Container Load). Read about FCL and LCL.

Most goods handled at Dutch ports are transported to other European countries; therefore, they are important trading hubs for the whole continent. They are one of the most efficient seaports in entire Europe.

Cargo seaports in the Netherlands

  • Port of Rotterdam: the largest seaport of Europe and the busiest non-Asian port in the world
  • Port of Alkmaar: one of the most popular seaports of the Netherlands
  • Port of Amsterdam: logistic hub in the region and one of the largest ports for chemical goods. In the New Silk Road network, Amsterdam is a connecting hub with the largest hub in the area, Duisburg, and the UK by a short-sea link
  • Port of Moerdijk: of the most versatile and largest port in the Netherlands
  • Port of Den Helder: logistic hub in the North Sea area, it has been operating for over 500 years
  • Port of Harlingen: an upcoming maritime hub of the Northern Netherlands
  • Port of Dordrecht: the most landward seaport in the country, has a strong rail and road connectivity
  • Zeeland Seaports: a multimodal port popular among shipowners
  • Port of Breskens: one of the smallest cargo seaports
  • Port of Vlaardingen: handles cargo such as phosphate, ore, ferroalloys, coal, and pig iron.
Shipping to and from the netherlands seaports map

Sea routes to and from the Netherlands

Many major shipowners offer services to/from the Netherlands, like CMA CGM, ONE, Maersk, and Hapag-Lloyd.

CMA CGM services to and from the Netherlands:

  • LIBERTY BRIDGE: Southampton – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven – Le Havre – New York – Norfolk – Savannah – Charleston (22 days)
  • CALIFORNIA BRIDGE: Southampton – Le Havre – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – Oakland – Los Angeles (36 days)
  • NEW NEMO: London Gateway – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – Le Havre – Fos – La Spezia – Malta – Pointe des Galets – Port Louis – Sydney – Melbourne – Adelaide – Fremantle – Singapore – Colombo (79 days)
  • NORTH EUROPE TO US GULF & MEXICO: Rotterdam – London Gateway – Hamburg – Antwerp – Le Havre – Houston – Veracruz (35 days)
  • FRENCH ASIA LINE – FAL 1: Tianjin Xingang – Busan – Ningbo – Shanghai – Yantian – Singapore – Dunkerque – Wilhelmshaven – Hamburg – Rotterdam (44 days)
  • FRENCH ASIA LINE – FAL 2: Tianjin Xingang – Dalian – Qingdao – Shanghai – Ningbo – Singapore – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp (43 days)
  • FRENCH ASIA LINE – FAL 3: Qingdao – Ningbo – Shanghai – Yantian –Singapore –Rotterdam – Southampton – Antwerp – Le Havre – Tangier (over 40 days)
  • FRENCH ASIA LINE – FAL 6: Kaohsiung – Qingdao – Shanghai – Ningbo – Taipei – Yantian – Tanjung Pelepas – Felixstowe – Hamburg – Rotterdam (43 days)
  • FRENCH ASIA LINE – FAL 8: Tianjin – Ningbo – Shanghai – Yantian – Singapore – Colombo – Antwerp – Hamburg – Rotterdam (42 days)
  • SAFRAN: Rotterdam – London Gateway – Hamburg – Antwerp – Le Havre – Buenos Aires – Montevideo (30 days)
  • FRENCH ASIA LINE – FAL 7: Xiamen – Nansha – Hong Kong – Yantian – Vung Tau – Port Kelang – Hamburg – Rotterdam – Zeebrugge – Felixstowe (39 days)
  • EUROSAL XL: Rotterdam – London Gateway – Hamburg – Antwerp – Le Havre – Caucedo – Cartagena – Manzanillo – Buenaventura – Posorja – Callao – Puerto Angamos – San Antonio (36 days)
  • VICTORY BRIDGE: Le Havre – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven – Charleston – Miami – Veracruz – Altamira – Houston – New Orleans (29 days).

ONE offer services to and from the Netherlands:

  • AL5 (Atlantic 5): Southampton – Le Havre – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – Halifax – Cartagena – Rodman – Los Angeles – Oakland – Seattle – Vancouver – Oakland – Los Angeles – Rodman – Cartagena – Caucedo – Halifax – Southampton (77 days)
  • AL2 (Atlantic 2): Southampton – Le Havre – Rotterdam – Hamburg – New York – Norfolk – Philadelphia – New York – Southampton (35 days)
  • IBESCO (Iberia, Europe, Scandinavia Loop): Rotterdam – Aarhus – Gothenburg – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Leixoes – Lisbon – London Gateway – Rotterdam (21 days)
  • NBS (North Sea Baltic Service – Russian Loop): Antwerp – Rotterdam – St. Petersburg – Helsinki – Antwerp (20 days)
  • FI1 (Finland Express 1): Rotterdam – Helsinki – Kotka – Antwerp – Rotterdam (9 days)
  • BRX (Benelux Russia Express): Antwerp – Rotterdam – St. Petersburg– Antwerp
  • BBX (Belgium Baltic Express): Antwerp – Rotterdam – Riga – Klaipeda – Rotterdam (14 days)
  • IO3 (Indian Ocean Service 3): Damietta – Piraeus – Rotterdam – London Gateway – Hamburg – Antwerp – Le Havre – Damietta
  • FE2 (Far East – Europe 2): Rotterdam – Southampton – Le Havre – Hamburg – Rotterdam
  • SRX (South Africa Rainbow Express): London Gateway – Bremerhaven – Rotterdam – Algeciras
  • AL5 (Atlantic 5): Southampton – Le Havre – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp
  • NPX (North Sea Poland Express): Antwerp – Rotterdam – Helsingborg – Gdynia – Antwerp (14 days).

MAERSK services to and from the Netherlands:

  • 45Q UNIFEEDER G3: Rotterdam – Gothenburg – Rotterdam (7 days)
  • 47O GBF Feeder 1: Rotterdam – Cork, Co Cork – Brest – Rotterdam (8 days)
  • 47O GBF Feeder 2: Rotterdam – Belfast, Northern Ireland – Dublin – Rotterdam (8 days)
  • 47O GBF Feeder 3: Rotterdam – Dublin – Belfast, Northern Ireland – Rotterdam (5 days)
  • AE1 Eastbound: Bremerhaven – Rotterdam – Port Tangier Mediterranee – Hong Kong – Ningbo – Xiamen – Yantian (44 days)
  • AE1 Westbound: Ningbo – Xiamen – Yantian – Tanjung Pelepas – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven (38 days)
  • AE10 Eastbound: Gdansk – Bremerhaven – Rotterdam – Tanjung Pelepas – Shanghai – Xingang – Qingdao – Gwangyang – Ningbo (52 days)
  • AE2 Eastbound: Felixstowe – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Algeciras – Singapore – Hong Kong – Shanghai – Qingdao – Busan – Ningbo (50 days)
  • AE2 Westbound: Qingdao – Busan – Ningbo – Yantian – Tanjung Pelepas – Rotterdam – Felixstowe – Antwerp (40 days)
  • AE5 Westbound: Dalian – Xingang – Busan – Ningbo – Shanghai – Tanjung Pelepas – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven – Gothenburg – Aarhus (51 days)
  • CAE Eastbound: Montreal – Halifax – Bremerhaven – Rotterdam – Antwerp (16 days)
  • CAE Westbound: Bremerhaven – Rotterdam – Antwerp – Montreal – Halifax (19 days)
  • CLX Northbound: Callao – Valparaiso – Balboa – Manzanillo – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Hamburg (32 days)
  • CLX Southbound: Antwerp – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Cartagena – Manzanillo – Balboa – Callao – Valparaiso (30 days)
  • ME7 Westbound: Chennai – Colombo – Salalah – Algeciras – Felixstowe – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven (29 days)
  • ME7 Eastbound: Algeciras – Felixstowe – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven – Jeddah – Salalah – Colombo – Chennai (35 days)
  • N12 BG Feeder: Rotterdam – Felixstowe – South Shields – Grangemouth – Antwerp – Rotterdam (9 days)
  • N13 BG Feeder: Rotterdam – Grangemouth – South Shields – Felixstowe – Rotterdam (7 days)
  • N17: Rotterdam – Dunkerque – Montoir de Bretagne – Brest – Rotterdam (7 days)
  • NEO Samba: Rotterdam – London Gateway – Hamburg – Antwerp – Santos – Paranagua – Buenos Aires – Montevideo – Paranagua – Santos – Port Tangier Mediterranee (52 days)
  • SAECS Northbound: Port Elizabeth – Durban – Cape Town – Rotterdam – London Gateway – Bremerhaven – Algeciras (48 days)
  • SAECS Southbound: Rotterdam – London Gateway – Bremerhaven – Algeciras – Port Elizabeth – Durban – Cape Town (48 days)
  • TA1 Eastbound: Charleston (north) – Houston – Norfolk – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven (14 days)
  • TA1 Westbound: Antwerp – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven – Norfolk – Charleston (north) – Houston (21 days)
  • TA3 Eastbound: Newark – Veracruz – Altamira – New Orleans – Mobile – Freeport – Charleston (north) – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven (31 days)
  • TA3 Westbound: Antwerp – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven – Newark – Veracruz – Altamira – New Orleans – Mobile – Freeport – Charleston (north) (30 days)
  • TA4 Eastbound: Newark – Savannah – Port Everglades – Charleston (north) – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven – Liverpool (25 days)
  • TA4 Westbound: Antwerp – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven – Liverpool – Newark – Savannah – Port Everglades – Charleston (north) (24 days)
  • Z16 470 GBF Feeder 2: Rotterdam – Cork, Co Cork – Rotterdam (5 days)
  • Z18: Rotterdam – Cork, Co Cork – Rotterdam (4 days)
  • SLD – Atlantic Sea: Casablanca – Agadir – Tilbury – Hamburg – Rotterdam – Casablanca (19 days)
  • L01 North Europe Feeder link 1 St Petersburg: Rotterdam – Rotterdam – St Petersburg – St Petersburg – Rotterdam (14 days)
  • SLB North Sea: London Gateway – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven – Ashdod – Alexandria – Port Said East – London Gateway (27 days).

Hapag-Lloyd services to and from the Netherlands:

  • Atlantic Loop 1 (AL1): Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – London Gateway – Norfolk – Philadelphia – New York – Halifax (25 days)
  • Atlantic Loop 2 (AL2): Southampton – Le Havre – Rotterdam – Hamburg – New York – Norfolk – Philadelphia (21 days)
  • Atlantic Loop 5 (AL5): Southampton – Le Havre – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – Halifax – Pt. Everglades – Cartagena – Rodman – Los Angeles – Oakland – Seattle – Vancouver (41 days)
  • North-Sea Baltic Service (NBS): Antwerp – Rotterdam – St. Petersburg – Helsinki – Kotka (9 days)
  • Far East Pacific 1(FP1): Rotterdam – Hamburg – Le Havre – Singapore – Kobe – Nagoya – Tokyo (38 days)
  • Far East Loop 2 (FE2): Southampton – Le Havre – Hamburg – Rotterdam – Tangier – Singapore – Hong Kong – Pusan – Shanghai – Ningbo – Nansha – Yantian (55 days)
  • Far East Loop 3 (FE3): Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – Jebel Ali – Singapore – Yantian – Hong Kong – Xiamen – Kaohsiung (46 days)
  • Far East Loop 4 (FE4): Hamburg – Rotterdam – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Algeciras – Singapore – Qingdao – Pusan – Ningbo – Shanghai – Yantian (49 days)
  • Far East Loop 5 (FE5): Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – London Gateway – Jeddah – Singapore – Laem Chabang – Vung Tau (43 days)
  • Far East Loop 8 (FE8): Gdansk – Bremerhaven – Rotterdam – Tanjung Pelepas – Shanghai – Xingang – Qingdao – Kwangyang (48 days)
  • Indian Ocean Service (IOS): Rotterdam – Hamburg – London Gateway – Antwerp – Tangier – Jeddah – Jebel Ali – Karachi – Nhava Sheva – Hazira Mundra (35 days)
  • Far East Loop 5 (FE5): Rotterdam – Hamburg – Southampton – Antwerp – Jeddah Colombo (28 days)
  • Indian Ocean Service 3 (IO3): Southampton – Bremerhaven – Rotterdam – Antwerp – Le Havre – Algeciras – Jeddah – Jebel Ali – Abu Dhabi – Port Qasim – Nhava Sheva – Mundra (37 days)
  • Far East Loop 3 (FE3): Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – London Gateway – Jebel Ali (23 days)
  • Caribbean Express Service (CES): Norfolk – Kingston – Santa Marta – Puerto – Limon – Caucedo – London – Rotterdam – Antwerp (29 days)
  • North Europe-South America East Coast Service (ECX): Buenos Aires – Montevideo – Rio Grande – Navegantes – Paranagua – Santos – Rio de Janeiro – Salvador – Pacem – Tangier – Rotterdam – London Gateway – Bremerhaven – Hamburg – Antwerp – Le Havre (38 days)
  • North Europe – South America Westcoast Service (SWX): San Antonio – Callao – Posorja – Manzanillo, PA – Cartagena – Caucedo – Rotterdam – London Gateway – Hamburg – Antwerp (31 days)
  • Atlantic Loop 4 (AL4): Veracruz – Altamira – Houston – New Orleans – London Gateway – Antwerp – Hamburg – Le Havre (33 days)
  • Atlantic Loop 5 (AL5): Seattle – Vancouver – Oakland – Los Angeles – Rodman – Cartagena – Caucedo – Savannah – Southampton – Le Havre – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp (40 days)
  • Brazil-River Plate Service (BPX): Buenos Aires – Montevideo – Paranagua – Santos – Tangier – Rotterdam – London Gateway – Hamburg – Antwerp (33 days)
  • South Africa Express (SAX): London Gateway – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – Le Havre – Cape Town – Coega – Durban (29 days).
Port of Rotterdam
Port of Rotterdam, Kop van de Beer Buildingsite, © Danny Cornelissen

Airfreight to and from the Netherlands

Airfreight is the safest and fastest way of shipping cargo, but also the most polluting and expensive. Airfreight is perfect for small shipments containing valuable (jewelry) or perishable goods (foods, flowers).

Main cargo airport in the Netherlands

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (Luchthaven Schiphol, AMS/EHAM) is the fourth-biggest cargo airport in Europe. It is located about 9 km southwest of Amsterdam. The airport is a base for EasyJet and KLM. The cargo is moved mainly between Asia and North America.

Destinations from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (cargo airlines):

  • Air China Cargo: Chongqing, Shanghai–Pudong, Tianjin, Zaragoza
  • AirBridge Cargo: Atlanta, Chicago–O’Hare, Frankfurt, Krasnoyarsk, Leipzig/Halle, Milan–Malpensa, Moscow–Domodedovo, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Oslo, Yekaterinburg, Zaragoza
  • Atlas Air: Chicago–O’Hare, Miami, Seoul–Incheon
  • Avianca Cargo: Miami, Zaragoza
  • Cargolux: Luxembourg
  • Cathay Pacific Cargo: Hong Kong
  • China Airlines Cargo: Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Delhi, Dubai–Al Maktoum, Taipei–Taoyuan
  • China Cargo Airlines: Copenhagen, Ningbo, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Xi’an, Zaragoza
  • China Southern Airlines Cargo: Guangzhou, Shanghai–Pudong
  • DHL Aviation: East Midlands, Leipzig/Halle, London–Heathrow, Madrid
  • Emirates SkyCargo: Aguadilla, Chicago O’Hare, Dubai–International, Frankfurt, Houston–Intercontinental, Madrid, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta, Oslo, Zaragoza
  • Etihad Cargo: Abu Dhabi, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta
  • FedEx Express: Oslo, Paris–Charles de Gaulle
  • Garuda Cargo: Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta
  • Kalitta Air: New York–JFK
  • Korean Air Cargo: Seoul–Incheon, Stockholm–Arlanda
  • LATAM Cargo Chile: Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Campinas–Viracopos, Miami, Santiago de Chile
  • Martinair: Bogotá, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Campinas–Viracopos, Guatemala City, Harare, Johannesburg–O.R. Tambo, Lima, Miami, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta, Quito, Santiago de Chile
  • MASkargo: Dubai–Al Maktoum, Kuala Lumpur–International
  • MNG Airlines: Istanbul–Atatürk, London–Luton
  • Nippon Cargo Airlines: Milan–Malpensa, Tokyo–Narita
  • Qatar Airways Cargo: Doha
  • Saudia Cargo: Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh
  • Silk Way West Airlines: Baku
  • Singapore Airlines Cargo: London–Heathrow, Sharjah, Singapore
  • Suparna Airlines: Nanjing
  • Turkish Cargo: Istanbul–Atatürk.
Airport in the Netherlands
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Velvet Scape, © Keith Jenkins

Land freight to and from the Netherlands

There is an extensive land freight network in Europe and Eurasia. Land freight is divided into railway shipping and road transportation. Generally, rail connections are fixed and scheduled, while road freight is more flexible.

Main inland terminals in the Netherlands include:

  • Amsterdam
  • Den Bosch
  • Moerdijk
  • Hengelo
  • Nijmegen
  • Wanssum
  • Born.

Rail transportation to and from the Netherlands

Rail transportation is reliable, quite cost-effective, and faster than sea freight. It is also less polluting than road haulage (using rail transport over road transport, you can lower greenhouse gas emissions by 75%). It is not ideal for short distances and time-sensitive loads.

In the Netherlands, around 80% of rail freight comes from/is destined for other countries. Its rail network is the busiest in Europe.

There are many rail solutions providers, like Rail Cargo Group, Ekol Logistics, UN Ro-Ro, and Europe Intermodal. One of the most important routes is the Betuwe Route – a rail freight-only direct link between the port of Rotterdam and Zevenaar at the German border. As for rail freight corridors on the continent, the most important ones are:

  • the Rhine Alpine, running from Amsterdam/Rotterdam to Genoa
  • the North Sea Baltic, running from Amsterdam/Rotterdam to Poland/Czech Republic/Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia
  • the North Sea Mediterranean, running from Amsterdam/Rotterdam to Lyon and Marseille (and the UK).

More than four million tons of freight are transported from and to the Amsterdam port region by rail per year.

Shipping to and from the Netherlands rail freight corridors
Rail freight corridors in Europe (simplified)
Shipping to and from the Netherlands Eurasia railways

The map shows what the Eurasia railway connection will look like in the future. The plan is to make it possible to ship goods by rail from Singapore to Spain.

Railway cargo terminals in the Netherlands

In the port of Amsterdam, there are fourteen terminals with rail connections: for dry bulk, liquid bulk, and intermodal (container) transport.

The port of Rotterdam is another important railway hub; over 400 international container rail services run to and from the port every week. It has daily block train services for dry and liquid bulk as well as containers.

Venlo is in the southern part of the Netherlands. It has a maximum capacity of 600 thousand TEU per year. The Venlo terminal was opened to relieve pressure on the road network around Rotterdam.

Road transportation to and from the Netherlands

Road freight transportation is the most used mode of transportation on short destinations. It is affordable and available 24 hours a day. The downside is it is affected by traffic jams and weather conditions.

In the Netherlands, the road haulage sector is one of the major modes of transportation. This country has one of the densest road networks globally, and traffic congestions are common. There are multiple providers on the market, the major ones being Bakker Logistics, Simon Loos, DSV, Kuehne+Nagel, and Jan de Rijk Logistics.

Truck freight accommodates various types of cargo:

  • LTL (less-than-load) for five pallets and less or FTL (full-truckload)
  • refrigerated, frozen, dry truckload
  • over-dimensional and heavy haul flatbed.

Note: payloads and axle weights differ from country to country (see Directive 96/53/EC).

Intermodal transportation to and from the Netherlands

We cannot forget about intermodal transportation (combined), which facilitates the transfer of goods from the road network to a ship, rail, and air freight system, making transportation very efficient.

Already mentioned Rail Cargo Group offers intercontinental intermodal service from Rotterdam via Budapest to Istanbul/Köseköy (Turkey) or Jinan (China).

Railway from the Netherlands to China Cargo rail group
Rail Cargo Group intermodal routes to and from Rotterdam

Shipping to and from the Netherlands – costs

Shipping costs depend on a few key factors. It differs depending on the transportation method, the size and type of cargo, the route, and distance. For example, the cost is higher if the items are non-stackable. Prices differ from one provider to another, so you should compare the costs first before deciding. You can compare offers from various forwarders on ShipHub.co. Fill in the form on the home page and receive quotes from many forwarders for free!

Request free quote for shipping

If you ship from China, see our article on shipping from China to the Netherlands and rail freight from China to the Netherlands.

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