The largest ports in Europe

Sea shipping is the most popular method for transporting goods in the world. New seaports are added, and the existing ones grow and are modernized to accommodate the largest container ships. Below we present the largest ports in Europe.

Top ports in Europe

Top ports in Europe 2023
Top ports in Europe 2023

1. The largest port in Europe, Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Port of Rotterdam
Danny Cornelissen

The port of Rotterdam is the largest and most significant seaport in Europe. It is located on the North Sea in the Rhine-Meuse delta. From the 1960s to 1986, it was the busiest port in the world. Later, it was replaced by the ports of Singapore and Shanghai.

The port of Rotterdam can accommodate the largest ships in the world, as the maximum draft in the port is 24 meters.

Port of Rotterdam’s total cargo throughput in 2023: 438.8 mln tons

2. Port of Antwerp, Belgium


The port of Antwerp is one of the fastest-growing ports in North-West Europe. It covers an area of 13,000 ha and employs over 150,000 people. After modernization, the port can handle the largest ships in the world with a capacity of over 20,000 TEUs. In 2022, the port of Antwerp merged with the port of Bruges.

The port of Antwerp has one of the best locations in the center of Europe to transship goods.

Port of Antwerp’s total cargo throughput in 2023: 269.7 mln tons

3. Port of Novorossiysk, Russia

Novorossiysk Port

Novorossiysk to one of the main ports of the Black Sea. The port’s berthing line is 8.3 km long, which is the longest of all Russian ports. Bulk terminals are from 8.4 to 15.6 m and are intended for tankers with a deadweight capacity of up to 250,000 tons, meaning they can accommodate the Suezmax class.

Port of Novorossiysk’s total cargo throughput in 2023: 161.4 mln tons

4. Port of Hamburg, Germany

Top container ports in the EU 2021 Hamburg
HHM/Michael Lindner

The port of Hamburg is the largest German port. It was officially founded on May 7, 1189. It is also often called the “gateway to the world.” All container terminals are equipped with integrated railway terminals, which raises the port’s status on the Europe map.

Port of Hamburg’s total cargo throughput in 2023: 114.3 mln tons

5. Port of Ust-Luga, Russia

Ust Luga Port

The port of Ust-Luga is located on the Baltic Sea and is equipped with seven terminals: a fuel terminal, a coal transshipment terminal, a universal transshipment terminal, a timber terminal, a sulfur transshipment terminal, car and rail terminals, and a multi-purpose terminal.

Port of Ust-Luga’s total cargo throughput in 2023: 113.5 mln tons

6. Port of Algeciras, Spain


The port of Algeciras is the largest in Spain (in Andalusia) and one of the largest ports in Europe. The port authority is the APBA (Port of Algeciras Bay Authority). The port has two container terminals – APM Terminals Algeciras (max.17 meters draft) and Total Terminal International Algeciras (max. 17.5-18.5 meters draft).

Port of Algeciras’ total cargo throughput in 2023: 97.2 mln tons

7. Port of Constanţa, Romania

Port Constanta

The Port of Constanța is Romania’s largest commercial port, located on the Black Sea. It is also the main transit port for the Danube countries.

Port of Constanţa’s total cargo throughput in 2023: 92.5 mln tons

8. Port of Le Havre (Haropa), France

Le Havre Port

The development of the port of Le Havre began in 1517 when the city of the same name was founded. The port officially began operating in 1524. Le Havre was built to promote trade. The port has a special artificial wharf built for cargo handling. There are three terminals on the artificial coast: Terminal de France, Terminal Porte Oceane (TPO), and TNMSC.

Port of Le Havre’s total cargo throughput in 2023: 81.3 mln tons

9. Port of Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk Port
Tomasz Dresler/Port Gdańsk

The Port of Gdansk is Poland’s leading transshipment port. The Baltic Hub container terminal (DCT Gdańsk) has been operating since October 1, 2007, making it possible to receive transoceanic container ships with goods from China.

Port of Gdansk’s total cargo throughput in 2023: 81 mln tons

10. Port of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Amsterdam Port

The Port of Amsterdam operates primarily to ease the traffic in the Port of Rotterdam. It is a multi-functional port that can handle, store, and ship cargo, from cocoa beans to coal and from paper to crude oil. The port has three types of terminals for general cargo, container cargo, and energy.

Port of Amsterdam’s total cargo throughput in 2023: 80.8 m tons

These are the largest ports in Europe. See the largest ports in China and the largest ports in India.

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