10 of the Busiest European Ports
15/02/2018
10 of the Busiest European Ports

10 of the Busiest European Ports


Europe’s ports have become a forced to be reckoned with, one of the most successful methods of trade across the world. The amount of time since most of these ports have been established demonstrates their success, here are the busiest ports across Europe.

Port of Rotterdam

Located in the Netherlands, between the years 1962-2004 Rotterdam was the world’s busiest port, until Singapore eventually stole the title, Shanghai soon followed suit. The port covers 105 Square kilometres. They aim to make the port entirely emission-less by 2050.

Port of Rotterdam European Port

Port of Antwerp

Located in Belgium, defined as a port in “the heart of Europe” in 2012 the port handled 14,220 trade ships becoming one of the most successful ports in the world. Offering trade to 800 locations, it’s easy to see why it is described as an essential port for Europe.

Port of Antwerp in Europe

Port of Hamburg

Germany’s largest port and the country’s own “Gateway to the world” it is the second busiest port in Europe, as well as the 15th largest in the world. It was opened in 1189 and brings an annual revenue of 44 million euros.

Largest Port in Germany Port of Hamburg

Port of Bremerhaven

The port is one of the largest in Germany, it has played a crucial part in the successful trade in Germany that has taken place since it was established in 1827. During WW2 the port was a crucial sea base for the Nazi War Navy, until the Allies began to take Germany and 79% of the city was destroyed in 1945 during bombings. The German Maritime Museum can be located nearby.

Port of Bremerhaven

Port of Valencia

Located in Spain, established in 1483 by then King Ferdinand the Catholic the Port was slowly developed over time to combat the seasonal flooding that took place at the time. The port generates 51% of Spain’s GDP with half of the country’s working population within the port. 

Spanish port of Valencia

Port of Algeciras

The Port of Algeciras is one of the largest in the Mediterranean sea, located in Spain it is the 9th biggest port for trade in Europe. Due to the conquest of Gibraltar, causing many to flee the area in the 1700s, the port wasn’t established until 1894, making it the most recently established port on our list. While the port has become host to over 70 million tons of traffic annually, whales and dolphins often travel through the port directly which has caused concern for experts.

Port of Algeciras

Port of Felixstowe

Opened in 1875, the port has just under 4,000 employees. The UK’s most successful container port, it is Europe’s 6th busiest. The port has its own police, fire and ambulance services. In 1976, the port is owned by Hutchinson Port Holdings which has a network of 48 ports across the world. The port had a recent extension: “Felixstowe South” which costed an estimated £291 million.

The UKs most successful container port Felixstowe

Port of Piraeus

Located in Athens, Greece, records of the port suggest that the port has served Athens since ancient times. Taking 18.6 million passengers in 2014, it was ranked as the most successful passenger port in Europe that same year. Ranked as the 8th most successful port for trade in Europe, it can also be used to travel from Athens to one of the Greek isles which is why it has become a regular stop for holidaymakers.

Port of Piraeus

Port of Istanbul

Located in Turkey, the port is used as a passenger terminal for cruise liners. Opening in 1900, construction began in 1892. Considered the biggest seaport for trade until 1986 when increased container shipping meant that the port had become obsolete, it found success as a passenger port taking up to 11 ships on a daily basis. In 2007, 832 passenger ships entered the port, with 460,427 tourists visiting annually.

Port of Istanbul in Turkey

Port of Gioia Tauro

This is the most successful port in Italy, as well as the 9th largest in Europe. The natural depth of the water (which can be up to 18 metres deep) is how the port benefits from the location, allowing easier travel for ships. During 2011-2013 the traffic volumes of the port increased, but fell between 2013-2015 due to the difficult conditions of the market at the time as well as competition from other major ports based in Malta, Egypt and Greece.

Port of Gioia Tauro

Have you visited these ports on trade travel? Let us know! Returnloads.net head office is located in the port of Tilbury, not one of the busiest in Europe yet but who knows in the future.

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