Source De Bock Maritiem

Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners

Annet Koster

Managing Director

"Dynamic and innovative worldwide, the Dutch shipping industry is held in high regard. Our fleet is one of the most up-to-date in the world, its crews have excellent qualifications, employment policies are progressive and standards for quality, safety and the environment are high."

Boompjes 40

3011 XB Rotterdam

The Netherlands


+31 (0)10 41 46 001

Source Spliethoff Group

Dutch shipowners have a reputation for being keen on innovation and the sustainable development of the shipping industry. Their continuous efforts to improve their performance and service are the result of this zeal.


The Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (Dutch: Koninklijke Vereniging van Nederlandse Reders) represents the interests of this dynamic and innovative industry. Its activities focus on politics, government, the maritime cluster and society. The association strives to ensure that Dutch shipowners can operate globally while navigating safely with clean ships operated by skilled crews.


A proportion of the Dutch fleet operates globally. A major part of the Dutch fleet consists of relatively small oceangoing vessels, mainly being multi-purpose or general cargo vessels. These ships are active in in maritime transport between European ports and/or non-EU ports in nearby countries like Russia and the Northern African nations. This type of transport - short sea shipping as it is called - amounts to 33% of total cargo transported within the EU.

Dutch shipowners are market leaders in some segments of the industry, including short sea shipping, heavy lift and reefer shipping. In the offshore industry (oil, gas, wind power), too, Dutch shipowners are a major presence. Around 800 businesses are operational within the Dutch shipping industry. Dutch shipowners manage 2,009 ships, 1,052 of which are registered under the Dutch flag. In 2017, the shipping industry’s turnover amounted to €6 billion.


The added value (both direct and indirect) in 2017 was as much as €2.3 billion. Around 70% of this amount is earned ashore, in ships’ management-related office employment. Including the indirect employment impact, the shipping industry in the Netherlands generates close to 14,000 jobs. Total employment within the Dutch shipping industry (cargo vessels, cruise ships and ferries) amounts to around 30,000 including non-Dutch seafarers.


The question remains how short sea shipping may be given an added impetus and how its declining share in intra-EU transport may be turned around into a growing share. The method of choice for achieving this is obvious: reduce the administrative burdens and abolish all custom formalities for maritime transport between European ports.