European Ports

European Ports

In Northern Europe, the largest ports, measured by total cargo volume, include Antwerp (Belgium), Bremen/Bremerhaven (Germany), Felixstowe (UK), Gioia Tauro (Italy), Gdansk (Poland), Gothenburg (Sweden), Hamburg (Germany), Novorossiysk (Russia), Primorsk (Russia), Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Saint Petersburg (Russia).

In Southern Europe, the largest ports include Algeciras (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Constantza (Romania), Genoa (Italy), Le Havre (France), Marseilles (France), Piraeus (Greece), Sines (Portugal), Trieste (Italy) and Valencia (Spain).


Despite publicly indicating a preference for the Port of Trieste in Italy, China may have really been working on securing market entry into Europe via a connection to the Rhine-Alpine corridor in Rijeka, Croatia.

News & Analysis

21 Sep 2022
Cosco Shipping wants to make Hamburg a strategic transshipment hub for North Europe, but German regulators have yet to approve a minority terminal stake in the port.
13 Sep 2022
Runaway inflation has driven up union pay demands that employers are unwilling to meet, escalating industrial disputes in several sectors across the UK.
31 Aug 2022
A joint venture in Rotterdam between two of Europe’s largest terminal operators will dramatically expand the port’s container handling capability.
24 Aug 2022
The industrial action hanging over Germany’s busiest container ports has been resolved, but there is no agreement in sight at the increasingly bitter Felixstowe strike in the UK.
22 Aug 2022
Dockworkers demanding inflation-busting pay increases in a deepening cost-of-living crisis are a fast-growing threat to the already overstretched European container supply chain.
19 Aug 2022
While Hamburg’s container trade with Russia fell sharply in the first half amid EU sanctions on Moscow, the German port still managed to see small growth in box volumes, unlike its major competitors.
01 Aug 2022
With North American shippers importing record amounts of Asia-made goods, the largest gains by volume were recorded at the Chinese ports of Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, and Shenzhen.
28 Jul 2022
Soaring inflation and a cost-of-living crisis is leading to a sharp increase in industrial action by workers across Europe, with Port of Felixstowe dockworkers the latest to vote for a walkout.
22 Jul 2022
Declining volumes, the Russia–Ukraine war, and a deteriorating economic outlook have left Europe’s busiest container port with a bleak outlook for the year.
21 Jul 2022
Lengthy delays at congested North European transshipment hubs will be avoided by a new direct service that has launched between China and Scotland.
14 Jul 2022
Europe’s second-busiest port is battling to stem falling container throughput as widespread disruption across logistics chains and the war in Ukraine affect its handling ability.
05 Jul 2022
Falling import volumes into North Europe amid rapidly deteriorating economic conditions have not provided any relief for hub ports in the region as logistics challenges mount.
04 Jul 2022
German port union ver.di and port employers are locked in their sixth round of wage negotiations this week in a dispute over inflation-matching increases.
25 May 2022
Powering its ships with green methanol will come with a significant increase in fuel costs for Maersk, but the carbon-free fuel offers greater scalability than other options.
28 Apr 2022
Capacity at the port of Antwerp is already maxed out, so a merger with the nearby port of Zeebrugge could provide some relief when the expected wave of cargoes arrives once COVID-19 measures are lifted in China.
25 Apr 2022
Container supply chain disruption and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has left Rotterdam and Antwerp unable to match the volume growth experienced in last year’s first quarter.
03 Jan 2022
The trans-Atlantic trade will report significant volume growth in 2021 as heavy US demand fills all available capacity and pushes rates to record levels.
21 Jan 2021
The World Bank and International Association of Ports and Harbors are urging ports and maritime ecosystems to quickly find public and private solutions to digitize operations and build data-sharing initiatives to bolster trade growth.
27 Oct 2020
Port software provider Portchain has grown the number of terminals using its berth optimization solution to two transshipment hubs in Europe as terminals seek to better align equipment, capacity, and human resources to vessel calls.
18 Aug 2020
Asian gateways continued to increase their dominant share of the global port market in 2019, handling nearly 80 percent of the total throughput of the top 50 container ports worldwide.
28 Jul 2020
A data-sharing initiative between key container gateways in Europe and Asia underlines the need for shippers and service partners to be connected into multiple shipping networks.
08 May 2020
European ports have been hit harder by blank sailings than other regions, according to a survey by the World Ports Sustainability Program and the International Association of Ports and Harbors.
10 Apr 2020
It was a solid first quarter for Antwerp, but the production and supply chain disruption being caused by COVID-19 will be felt at the international hub in the second quarter.
02 Mar 2020
Initiatives aimed at turning container ports from conduits of physical freight activity into hubs for the digital information surrounding those cargo movements are underway in virtually every major global gateway.
Hamburg widens Elbe ‘passing box’ to boost mega-ship access
30 Jan 2020
It has taken many years, but tangible progress is finally being made in the engineering works to widen and deepen the Port of Hamburg’s key access waterway.
23 Jan 2020
A strike by French dockworkers this week is causing severe disruption to carrier schedules as port calls to Le Havre and Marseilles-Fos are cut.
26 Dec 2019
The trans-Atlantic has been the most stable of the major east-west container shipping trades since 2016, with strong growth achieved in both headhaul and backhaul volume, but a recent escalation of trade tensions is clouding the 2020 outlook.
19 Dec 2019
Hutchison Ports will have to keep APM Terminals Rotterdam at arm’s length for a while once the sale is approved, with volume guarantees and a ban on firing staff also included the deal.
04 Dec 2019
JOC's annual Container Trade Europe conference, hosted by the Port of Antwerp on Oct. 20-22, 2020, will focused on the needs of container shippers. The targeted program is developed and led by the specialized journalist team of the JOC.
Antwerp reported a 6.4 percent growth in container volume handled in january through September, despite the slowing European economies.
21 Oct 2019
Slowing economies at both ends of the Asia-Europe trade have had little effect on the container volume being handled by the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp.
13 Sep 2019
With barge and rail congestion at Northern European ports mounting, Contship, an asset-based, integrated, ocean-rail transportation provider, offers cargo interests in Central Europe and northern Italy an alternative gateway through the Port of La Spezia.
Top 50 Global Container Ports 2018
09 Aug 2019
Asian gateways continued to dominate the global port market in 2018, handling more than three-quarters of the total throughput of the top 50 container ports worldwide.
02 Aug 2019
Europe’s main waterways are again heading for the low levels that had such a brutal impact on inland cargo flows late last year.
24 Jul 2019
It has taken many years, but finally dredging work on the crucial river access to Europe’s third-largest port has begun.
28 Jun 2019
The concentration of mega-ships in Europe’s hub ports continues to keep intermodal logistics under pressure.