5 Most Important Ports in Europe for International Trade

The ports of Europe are essential for international trade, since without them (and the shipping companies and their cargo ships), commercial exchanges would be more complex by requiring other means to send goods from one continent to another.

Despite this, it is worth highlighting that not all of these maritime precincts maintain the same relevance since their importance lies in their geographical location, infrastructure, route connectivity, TEU mobilization, specialization in types of cargo, among many other factors.

5 Most Important Ports in Europe for International Trade

Due to this and other conditions, the most important ports on the planet are located in Asia and the United States, as they have the highest levels of loading and unloading of merchandise, with the Port of Shanghai, in China, being the busiest in the world.

However, after the maritime complexes located in these regions, the ports of Europe are the most notable as they are located in an extremely competitive area in the production and shipping of products.

The importance of Europe’s ports

China, the United States and the European Union (EU) constitute the main economies in the world, but the most striking thing is the reconfiguration of the commercial system in the old continent.

And, according to the official EU site, the region has gone from producing labor-intensive but low-value items to obtaining greater degrees of specialization in higher-value branded merchandise.

To achieve this, in addition to its open economy and its active role in the World Trade Organization, the EU negotiates more and more trade agreements, as new partner countries are added every year.

However, the international position that the European Union occupies in terms of foreign trade would not be possible without its seaports, since through these the region has positioned itself as the largest exporter of manufactured goods and services globally, which at the same time At the same time, it allows it to be the main market for the exports of more than 80 nations.

China and the United States have been the EU’s two main trading partners, but to achieve this, Europe’s ports are essential in commercial exchanges with these countries.

Most Important Ports in Europe for International Trade

On this continent, there are dozens of port areas, but not all of them maintain the same relevance, as it depends, among other things, on the factors described above.

Some of the most important ports in Europe are:

Port of Rotterdam

Located in the city of the same name, in the Netherlands, this port is the most representative and important of the entire European continent, because in addition to being the largest, from 1962 to 2004 it was the busiest on the planet.

Nowadays, due to the growth and investment that China and the rest of Asia have made in recent years in their own ports, Rotterdam has been moved out of the top ten worldwide, although its relevance in the old continent remains valid.

In the volume of TEUs moved the Port of Rotterdam ranks first in the EU, moving around sixteen million of these units annually.

Port of Antwerp

This port complex is located in Belgium, being, by far, the most important in this European nation and with a rich history that began with Napoleon Bonaparte.

An important condition is that the Port of Antwerp is not located on the sea, but is located on the Scheldt River, flowing into the North Sea, and is the second largest petrochemical center in the world.

According to Statista data, this facility moves around thirteen million TEUs each year, making it the second busiest in all of Europe.

Port of Hamburg

Located in the German city of the same name and being one of the oldest on the planet, having been founded in the year 1189, this port is the most important in the German country, and in size, one of the largest on the planet.

Also known as the “Gateway to the World”, this complex is constantly growing and is one of the ones with the best infrastructure, as it offers rail transportation, which greatly facilitates the transfer, loading and unloading of goods, promoting agile commerce. and fast.

In terms of volume of TEUs, the Port of Hamburg moves approximately nine million annually.

Port of Valencia

Located in the coastal city of Valencia, in Spain, this port is the fourth busiest in the entire European territory, the most important in the Iberian country and in the entire Mediterranean.

In addition to that, this site is one of the most relevant arteries in the Valencian Community for its economic growth and development, as it is one of the main sources of employment in this area.

It is estimated that it moves around six million TEUs annually.

Read Also: The 10 Largest Ports in the World 

Port Piraeus

Although it is not as popular as others and stands out on few lists, Piraeus, located in Greece, is a port that has more importance than it is usually given.

Piraeus is one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean and the most important in Greece.

At the TEU level, this port moves more than five million units per year.

Europe’s ports are essential for international trade and the exchange of goods, and the EU is one of the regions in the world that stands out the most in these areas.

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