According to the latest figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), inland vessels transported over 345 million tonnes of goods on Dutch waterways in 2022, which is 3.4% less than in the previous year. The decline was seen in liquid bulk cargo, such as petroleum products, which decreased by 3.3%, and dry bulk cargo, such as ores and minerals, which fell by 1.7%. Container shipments experienced the strongest decline of 9.7% compared to the previous year.

The weight of bulk cargo shipments decreased by 2.3%, and inbound cargo shipments decreased by 9.9%.

Despite the overall decrease in goods transported, coal shipments increased by 18.6% last year, with 83.0% of total coal transport by inland vessels destined for Germany. The transport of chemical products also increased by 2.4%. On the other hand, the transport of metal ores and other minerals decreased by 5.3%, and the transport of coke and refined petroleum products was down by 7.4%.

The number of transported containers fell by only 4.4%, with a decline of 9.7% in the weight of container shipments. However, the share of 40ft containers in inland navigation increased by 4.3% from the previous year, accounting for nearly 66% of total container transport in 2022. This share has been increasing over the past decade, rising from 53% in 2012 to 66% in 2022. The total weight of container cargo and the number of transported TEUs have also increased over the past ten years by 18.0% and 9.2%, respectively.

Inland vessels transported over 95 million tonnes of hazardous substances in 2022, which is 5.2% less than in the previous year. Flammable liquids, such as petrol and diesel, accounted for 69.7% of the hazardous substances transported by inland shipping.


Source: Statistics Netherlands