The port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, located in the city of Rotterdam, South Holland, the Netherlands. From 1962 until 2004 it was the world's busiest port, now overtaken by Asian ports like Singapore and Shanghai. In 2004 Rotterdam was the seventh-largest port in the world in terms of containers (TEU) handled.
Covering 105 square kilometers (40.5 sq mi), the port of Rotterdam now stretches over a distance of 40 kilometers (25 mi). It consists of the city center's historic harbor area, including Delfshaven; the Maashaven/Rijnhaven/Feijenoord complex; the harbours around Nieuw-Mathenesse; Waalhaven; Vondelingenplaat; Eemhaven; Botlek; Europoort, situated along the Calandkanaal, Nieuwe Waterweg and Scheur (the latter two being continuations of the Nieuwe Maas); and the reclaimed Maasvlakte area, which projects into the North Sea.
In the first half of the twentieth century the port activities moved from the centre westward towards the North Sea. The Nieuwe Waterweg was dug from Rotterdam to the North Sea, a canal to disembogue the shallow Rhine and Meuse. The Nieuwe Waterweg was ready in 1872 and all sorts of industrial activity formed on the banks of this canal.