Hafen Rotterdam / Port of Rotterdam

The Netherlands: lifeline of the flow of goods

12. 06. 2024

Cheese, tulips, windmills, clogs and more bicycles than inhabitants – this is what the Netherlands is known for. But did you know that the Netherlands are the world's second largest exporter of agricultural products after the USA?

For the ÖBB Rail Cargo Group (RCG) the Netherlands are becoming an increasingly important logistics market. What can't be transported by bike can be transported by train!

Geographically and strategically, the Netherlands are of great importance due to the direct connection of the ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam to Germany and its positioning on important railway corridors and terminals such as Geleen and Moerdijk. International trade has always characterised the Dutch economy. The Netherlands are also the world's second largest exporter of agricultural products after the USA, making the deep sea port of Rotterdam particularly important for the entire European economy. 

Port of Rotterdam

Rotterdam, one of the world's largest seaports and Europe's largest deep-sea port, is a hub for the global flow of goods. It stretches from Rotterdam city centre to the North Sea near Hoek van Holland over an area of around 120 km². More than 1,000 deep-sea ports around the world are served from here and over 400 international container rail connections run to and from the port of Rotterdam every week.

The port also plays an important role for the RCG: it is the central hub between ship, rail and lorry and therefore an important connecting node in intermodal transport. Due to its great importance, we recently dedicated an in-depth portrait to it: The port of Rotterdam sets course for sustainability.

The RCG in the Netherlands

RCG operates several TransFER connections with fixed timetables to the Netherlands. The TransFER Wolfurt-Rotterdam currently operates two round trips per week and the TransFER Linz-Antwerp runs almost daily to and from the Benelux countries. Since the beginning of 2024, the RCG has also optimised another TransFER connection and now offers a direct connection between Austria, Germany and the Netherlands four times a week with the TransFER Linz-Duisburg-Rotterdam. RCG has also recently started operating its own carrier company in the Netherlands and can now operate not only with RU partners (railway undertakings), but also in own traction – i.e. with its own staff and locomotives. In addition to cost advantages, this also provides more flexibility and guarantees our customers the best offer at the best price – all from a single source.

General information about the railway in the Netherlands

The rail network in the Netherlands has a total length of around 3,000 kilometres and is one of the most densely used in Europe. The market for rail freight transport has been liberalised for more than 20 years and is therefore accessible to several rail transport companies. Around 80 % of the rail freight transported is destined for or from abroad. One of the most important rail freight routes is the connection to Germany.

Our TransNET shows you all TransFER connections at a glance - click in, try it out, find opportunities!