Seaports strengthen the economy

Every year, Dutch seaports handle over 550 million tons of goods. This makes seaports vitally important to the Dutch economy. The government therefore wants to strengthen the position of these ports.

Contribution of seaports to the economy

Seaports make an important contribution to the Dutch economy.

  • Every day, everyone in the Netherlands uses products or raw materials that enter the country through its seaports.
  • Carriers tranship goods arriving at the ports for further transport in the Netherlands and to other European countries. And goods are loaded onto seagoing vessels to be  transported all over the world.
  • In the vicinity of seaports, various industrial companies – for example, chemical companies, refineries and metal companies – process raw materials.
  • 338,000 people are employed at or by Dutch seaports.
  • Companies in and around Dutch seaports have combined annual earnings of 38.5 billion euros.

Strengthening the position of seaports

The main competition Dutch seaports face comes from other large seaports situated between Le Havre and Hamburg. This means Dutch seaports have to be attractive in terms of loading and unloading cargo as well as being attractive places to establish businesses. The cabinet wants to strengthen both the position of seaports and their significance for the Dutch economy. To this end, the cabinet intends to:

Action plan for seaports

The government, seaports and port authorities drew up an action plan aimed at strengthening the seaports' competitive position: the Seaports Programme of Work 2014-2016. The plan contains 10 actions to be taken by the government and 10 for the seaports and the business community.

The action plan focuses on 7 themes:

  • seaports and Europe;
  • accessibility and logistics;
  • entrepreneurship and the labour market;
  • sustainability and innovation;
  • seaports and their surroundings;
  • port collaboration and safeguarding public interests;
  • IT (this theme was added later).