Coal import, export and transhipment

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 Northwest Europe. The port’s maximum water depth is 23.65 metres, making it 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 of coal via inland shipping and rail

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, which means that coal can immediately be on its way to coal-fired power plants and blast-furnaces.

rail transport coal

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 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 directly from one vessel moored at a buoy or dolphin to another vessel.


If you would like to know more about this subject, please contact:

Joris Hurenkamp
Sr Business Manager Chemicals and Dry Bulk

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