Logistics gateway to Europe and beyond


The Netherlands plays a key role in the globalised economy, by connecting producers and consumers worldwide via sophisticated logistics. Success is based on a combination of cutting-edge infrastructure, world-class service providers, and a coastal location at the heart of Europe. Key factors are the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port and fourth-largest worldwide, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, a major European air-freight and passenger hub. Both are supported by world-class logistics service providers and an extensive network of roads, railways, inland waterways and pipelines. This powerful combination has made the Netherlands the ‘Gateway to Europe’ accounting for significant quantities of European road- and water-transport. The Netherlands also makes extensive use of Information Technology to deliver optimised supply chain solutions in sectors where time is critical, such as food and flowers. In addition, the Netherlands is pioneering developments in environmentally sustainable logistics operations and silent logistics.

Key aspects and strengths

  • The Netherlands occupies a strategic position: it is central within Europe, and at the mouth of rivers which reach deep into the economic and industrial heart of Europe. The Rhine has the greatest concentration of freight flows anywhere in the world. This has allowed the Netherlands to develop into the gateway of Europe.
  • The Netherlands is the country of choice for European Distribution Centres is: 57 percent of all American and Asian EDCs on the European continent are located in the Netherlands. The country hosts over 19 million square metres of distribution centre capacity. This is equivalent to an area the size of some 3,000 soccer fields.
  • All major Dutch ports are serviced by companies specialising in storage, transhipment, industrial processing and auxiliary services, as well as transport, packing, warehousing and distribution.
  • The Netherlands is one of the leading road transport nations in Europe and the largest inland shipper. The Betuweroute, a dedicated double-track freight railway, enables rapid transport of containers and bulk goods from Rotterdam to the European hinterland.
  • From the Port of Rotterdam, goods can be delivered to all major industrial and economic centres in western Europe in less than 24 hours.
  • Under the ‘Smart Cargo Hub for Europe’ initiative, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the Port of Amsterdam and the private sector aim to turn Amsterdam into the fastest and most-reliable multimodal hub for Europe.
  • The Port of Rotterdam is being expanded with 1,000 hectares of industrial land (www.maasvlakte2.com). Sixty-three percent is being allocated to container transfer (with a maximum processing capacity of 17 million TEU).
  • The Netherlands is a leading country in electronic information sharing between port authorities and vessels.
  • The liberalisation of the aviation sector has led to greater competition and has, in turn, made room for large intercontinental alliances between established airlines (e.g. Air France-KLM). Liberalisation has also opened the way for new, competitive products in air transport.


From: NL EVD International information