International trade has not only shaped the economy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from the word go, it also represents one of its lifelines. Agriculture and the food industry are among the most important economic sectors.
This is why the Netherlands is the world's second largest exporter of agricultural products after the USA. The significance of the Netherlands as a port city is all the greater.
Rotterdam is not only the largest seaport in Europe, it is also the hub for the global flow of goods. From Rotterdam's city centre to the North Sea near Hoek van Holland, the port covers around 120 km².
Rotterdam provides scheduled services for transporting goods to and from more than 1,000 ports around the world.
The Dutch deep-sea port is the starting point and destination of more than 250 intermodal rail connections per week. The port also plays an essential role for the ÖBB Rail Cargo Group. RCG currently runs four to five round trips a week between the Linz / Vienna and Wolfurt terminals to Rotterdam. Via the TransFER connections Vienna/Linz-Rotterdam, Wolfurt-Rotterdam and Budapest-Rotterdam, RCG transported a total of 24,800 tonnes from and to the port of Rotterdam in 2018.
From Wolfurt, Mainly drinks and fittings are transported from Wolfurt to the Netherlands by rail, and steel coils and consumer goods are transported on the environmentally friendly railways from Linz.
Sustainability at sea and on the rails
The Port of Rotterdam has the ambitious goal of becoming the most sustainable port in the world and setting an example for others to follow. Ecological modernisation projects such as the promotion of sustainable energy sources from wind, sun and biomass contribute to this.
Together with the leading European freight railways, we have also set ourselves the goal of shifting 30% of our freight volume to the environmentally friendly railways by 2030.
It is good that our business model is sustainable per se. The CO2-neutral port and RCG's environmentally friendly freight traffic are thus doing everything they can to make their contribution to climate protection. No goods can be transported to the Netherlands in a more sustainable way.
Railways in the Netherlands
The rail network in the Netherlands has a total length of 3,000 km and is the busiest in Europe. The rail freight market has been liberalised for more than 20 years. In 2016, there were 21 rail freight companies and 8 passenger companies operating on the railways.
Since the European Commission wants to promote competitiveness, any railway operator can offer rail transport on regional routes from 2021. The state-owned Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) has an exclusive concession on the main railway network until 2025.