Top sectors


Speed, sustainability and safety are the core values of logistic operations in the Netherlands. Situated on Europe’s west coast, the Netherlands is strategically positioned at the heart of Europe’s Single Market. Its main sea and inland ports facilitate the flow of goods to and from Europe’s hinterland.

Rotterdam is Europe’s largest port, and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the world’s 3rd largest in air cargo transport. Together they make up part of the infrastructure which reinforces the Netherlands’ function as the gateway to Europe.

The Netherlands’ logistics sector is increasingly adopting sustainable technologies to reduce its CO2 footprint. This will partly be achieved via an open ICT platform on which companies and government agencies share information. This will make arrival times more reliable, improve grip on modes of transport and transport capacity, and enable cargo to be grouped together.

The most connected country

The Netherlands provides high-quality logistic services through its high-tech automated ports, modern electrified rail network, well-maintained roads and waterways. They serve a multitude of industries from agri-food to medical technology. Many foreign-owned logistics distributors locate in the Netherlands due to the under-200-km proximity of logistic centres and rapid 24-hour access to 170 million European consumers. With access to another 244 million others further afield.

The logistics sector is a strong driver of the Dutch economy with 55 billion euros added value per year and 813,000 employees. According to the DHL Global Connectedness Index 2018, the Netherlands is the world’s most connected country. We also rank 6th in its Logistics Performance Index. Our well-established transportation and supply links and efficient customs procedures are key-drivers in a sustainably innovative value chain.

Third largest airport in Europe

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the third largest European cargo airport. Until the pandemic hit Schiphol ranked as 3rd largest European airport in terms of passenger numbers. In normal times over 100 scheduled airlines operate flight services to 332 direct destinations worldwide from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The airport is one of Europe’s three major aviation hubs. For over 100 years, it has been the principal home base of Air France-KLM. It is also a base for the Sky Team alliance. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is also a major driver of the regional Dutch economy generating on-airport jobs for 64,000 people. Schiphol accounts for 2 to 5 percent of the gross national product (GNP) and provides between 120,000 and 360,000 jobs nationwide. In 2019, 1.57 million tons of freight and 71.7 million passengers flew through Schiphol.

Schiphol is using innovative technical solutions to reduce its CO2 footprint. It aims to reduce CO₂ emissions by 35 percent by 2030 with automated baggage handling systems, electric transport and aviation biofuels. Passenger transfers are speeded up thanks to innovative Short Connection Pas.

Largest port in Europe

The Port of Rotterdam is Europe’s largest port. The Rotterdam port has been a pivotal marine infrastructural point in Europe since the 13th century. Today it forms a gateway to Europe.

Businesses choose to locate in-and-around the Port of Rotterdam because of its strategic location in north-west Europe, depth of its harbours, excellent port and energy facilities, and its transport links with the hinterland. Many large European distribution centres are located close to the container terminals, and these ensure that products can be dispatched efficiently to anywhere on the continent or to overseas destinations. The combined activities of the port account for about 3.1% of Dutch GDP. The Port of Rotterdam is a global leader in the field of sustainability.


Find out more about the Top sector Logistics (in Dutch) or visit the Holland Logistics Library.