List of the Busiest Ports in Europe

Europe is home to some of the busiest ports essential in trade area and shipping industry. In this blog, we’ll explain the European Ports 2023 and the Top 10 ports, like Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, Marseille, Barcelona, and more, that make Europe a hub of maritime activity. These ports have fascinating histories and are essential for connecting Europe with the world.

Let’s dive in and discover port locations, stats, and essential roles in the container shipping industry.

Top 10 Ports in Europe - 2023 Updated List

Name of the Port Country TEU's (2023 H1) - Million
Gioia Tauro
Le Havre (Haropa)

List of 10 Major Ports in Europe - European Ports 2023

Many important port/container hubs in the European region are considered key points for the global trade and supply chain. Container transportation is gaining more and more importance for European trade. Ports are developing increasingly daily, and concepts such as technological developments and sustainability come to the fore. We will conduct a detailed review of the Top 10 European Ports 2023 listed above.

Let’s dive into the European Ports 2023!

1- Port of Rotterdam

The Port of Rotterdam has again secured its position as the top European container port for another year, with nearly 14 million TEU’s recorded in 2023 H1. Also, the overall cargo volume at this Dutch port remained stable throughout the previous year, totaling around 468 million metric tonnes.

2- Port of Antwerp

The Antwerp Port handled 13 million TEU’s in container traffic in the second position in 2023 H1. It’s worth highlighting that the merger of the two Belgian ports, Antwerp and Zeebrugge, was completed in April 2022, leading to the official commencement of operations at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges.

3- Port of Hamburg

Hamburg Port, located in Hamburg, Germany. Referred to as Germany’s “Gateway to the World,” it is the country’s largest seaport in terms of volume. In 2023 H1, the Port of Hamburg managed 8 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

4- Port of Valencia

Valencia Port stands as an essential region among Mediterranean ports. With over 15,000 employees, it is a bustling hub for more than 7,500 naval vessels annually. The port’s broad reach extends its economic impact over a wide area spanning 350 kilometers. It reached 5 Million TEU levels in the 2023 H1 period.

5- Port of Piraeus

This port is located near Athens, the capital of Greece; the Port of Piraeus proudly holds the title of the largest port in Greece. In particular, the Chinese conglomerate COSCO has a significant portion of the property. The port includes three terminals with a notable over 8 million TEU capacity. It is around 5 Million TEU in the H1 period of 2023. It is one of the rare ports that show an increase in the decreasing European trade volume.

6- Port of Algeciras

Algeciras Port, located in Andalusia, Spain.. The Algeciras Bay Administration, or the APBA, is responsible for its operations and oversight. This maritime powerhouse has two primary container terminals: APM Terminals Algeciras, with a maximum draft of 17 meters, and Total Terminal International Algeciras, with a top draft of 17.5 to 18.5 meters. It has reached 4.6 Million TEU in the 2023 H1 Period.

7- Port of Bremerhaven

The Port of Bremerhaven is located in Germany. Located on the banks of the Weser River, this port’s container terminal plays an essential role in managing Germany’s import and export activities. With the influence of the port, Bremerhaven has become a vital center for trade and tourism. The port, which reached 4.5 Million TEU in the 2023 H1 Period, is essential for the country.

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8- Port of Barcelona

Located in the northeastern corner of Spain, the Port of Barcelona is considered one of the most important in Spain and one of the most important ports in Europe. With more than 2,000 years of maritime history, it has a rich history of continuous operation. Today, the Port of Barcelona is an essential port for container traffic, with two container terminals efficiently handling the passage of more than 3,000 container ships each year. It has reached the level of 3.5 million TEU in the 2023 H1 period.

9- Port of Gioia Tauro

Port of Gioia is located in Southern Italy. The Port of Gioia Tauro stands as one of the leading container ports in Europe. Its strategic location on the bustling sea route connecting Suez and Gibraltar places it in one of the busiest sea corridors in the world. In particular, this Italian container hub has defied the prevailing trend with a remarkable 33.6% growth in container volumes between 2019 and 2022. This achievement is particularly notable given that many other ports have experienced declines in container volumes during the challenging COVID-19 era. It has reached 3.3 million TEU’s in the 2023 H1 period.

10- Port of Le Havre (Haropa)

Le Havre Haropa Port represents a dynamic port complex in France consisting of Le Havre, Rouen, and Paris ports. Its history dates back to 1517, when Le Havre was founded. In 1524, the Port of Le Havre started its official activities to promote trade. In particular, it has a distinctive artificial port designed for efficient cargo handling. In the 2023 H1 period, the port has reached 3.1 Million TEU’s.

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