Rotterdam is the heart of the coal transhipment sector in Europe. No other port tranships as much thermal coal and coking coal as the port of Rotterdam. The port of Rotterdam is not only a transhipment port of coal for power plants and blast furnaces in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. There are four coal-fired power plants in the port of Rotterdam area itself as well.

Coal import and export via Rotterdam

The port of Rotterdam is the port of choice for the supply and transhipment of coal to destinations in North-West Europe. The port’s maximum water depth is 23.65 metres and consequently is the only port in the Hamburg – Le Havre region where maximum size vessels can discharge and load their dry bulk coal. The port consequently offers attractive economies of scale.

Transhipment coal via inland shipping and rail

rail transport coal

For dry bulk cargo, such as coal, rail and inland shipping are the most attractive options to ship large volumes efficiently at once. Rotterdam offers excellent opportunities for both. Many of the dry bulk terminals in Rotterdam have their own rail and inland shipping facilities. This means that coal can immediately be on its way to coal-fired power plants and blast furnaces.

Coal transhipment at buoys and dolphins

The port of Rotterdam has an abundance of buoys and dolphins. These buoys and dolphins provide excellent opportunities for ship-to-ship handling. This makes it possible to immediately transfer bulk cargo from one deep sea vessel to another or to a short sea or inland shipping vessel for transhipment to other destinations in Europe or overseas regions. This puts bulk cargo quickly on its way to its final destination. Various dry bulk terminals and independent suppliers have floating cranes capable of transferring dry and liquid bulk cargo from vessels moored at buoys or dolphins to another vessel.


Interested in finding out more about the possibilities the port of Rotterdam has to offer related to coal storage and transhipment? Contact:

Martin Ouwerkerk

Martin Ouwerkerk

Business Manager Dry bulk and Energy
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