There are many European cities located on the sea that have built their fortunes over the years thanks to the importance and vastness of their port.
Used both for commercial purposes and for tourist trips, the port of a city has always been a symbol of exchange, of goods or culture, of arrivals or departures.
Which are the largest and most important commercial and tourist ports in Europe? In these rankings we report the top ten positions, correlated by the explanation of the ranking method used.
Largest and most important trading ports in Europe
The ranking shows the top ten estimated positions in TEU (Twenty-foot equivalent unit) or the twenty-foot equivalent unit, the standard measure of volume in the transport of ISO containers, which corresponds to about 40 total cubic meters.
A series of geographical reasons (for example more presence of land) and anthropological (distribution of wealth) cause the economic difference between the north and south of the world. This gap is also evident in the maritime economy, where the organization of port spaces makes a difference more than the very degree of development of the port city.
Il Port of Rotterdam it was also the largest in the world until 2004, when it was overtaken by Singapore and Shanghai. The Port of Hamburg è the most important in Germany, as well as one of the greatest attractions of the city, both as an industrial and logistic center but also as a cultural center thanks to the presence of several museum ships, theaters, bars, restaurants, hotels and even a floating church. The Port of Antwerp enjoys one most central location in Europe than most North Sea ports.
Here is the complete ranking of the top 10 positions by TEU coefficient:
- Port of Rotterdam, The Netherlands: TEU coefficient approximately 11.876.000
- Port of Hamburg, Germany: approximately 9.014.000 TEU coefficient
- Port of Antwerp, Belgium: TEU coefficient approximately 8.664.000
- Bremerhaven Harbor, Germany: approximately 5.915.000 TEU coefficient
- Port of Valencia, Spain: TEU coefficient approximately 4.327.000
- Port of Algeciras, Spain: TEU coefficient approximately 3.608.000
- Port of Felixstowe, United Kingdom: approximately 3.248.000 TEU coefficient
- Port of St. Petersburg, Russia: approximately 2.365.000 TEU coefficient
- Malta Freeport, Malta: TEU coefficient about 2.360.000
- Port of Gioia Tauro, Italy: TEU coefficient approximately 2.264.000
Largest and most important tourist ports in Europe
In this case, the number of passengers passing through each year in port cities to go on vacation, to visit the main towns of the country or simply to go to other places.
Il Port of Piraeus, main port of Greece, sees the passage of international ferries but also of local traffic, directed to the numerous Aegean islands. The Port of Dover, of strategic importance already in the Bronze Age, it developed first as a commercial port from the 1600s, then also as a tourist port at the end of the 1800s. Port of Paloukia is located on the island of Salamis, the largest in the Saronic Gulf, and is a very dynamic place, always busy with boats that carry tourists around but also by fishing boats that unload the fish.
Here is the complete ranking of the top 10 positions for annual passenger transit:
- Port of Piraeus, Greece: 20.9 Million Passengers
- Port of Dover, United Kingdom: 12.9 Million Passengers
- Port of Paloukia, Greece: 11.7 Million Passengers
- Port of Helsinki, Finland: 10.3 Million Passengers
- Port of Calais, France: 10.0 Million Passengers
- Stockholm harbor, Sweden: 9.2 Million Passengers
- Port of Helsingborg, Sweden: 8.3 Million Passengers
- Helsinger Harbor, Denmark: 8.3 Million Passengers
- Port of Messina, Italy: 8.1 Million Passengers
- Port of Tallin, Estonia: 8.0 Million Passengers