International freight traffic reached a new high with 54,150 cross-border train movements, an increase of 300 compared with 2008, when the previous record was set. Germany is the main destination for this traffic, accounting for 85% of the total, and the busiest cross-border route was the Zevenaar - Emmerich line, which was used by 24,500 freight trains in 2015.
Much less freight traffic crosses the Dutch - Belgian border, but the number of freight trains travelling between the two countries increased by 18% compared with 2014 to 10,750. Transit traffic has also increased, particularly on the Bad Bentheim (Germany) - Oldenzaal - Roosendaal - Essen (Belgium) and Kaldenkirchen (Germany) - Venlo - Maastricht - Visé (Belgium) corridors.
Various circumstances contributed to the increase in freight traffic including extremely low water levels in the main rivers, which prevented barges from operating at full capacity and the improving economic situation both in the Netherlands and other European countries.
The number of freight trains on the Betuweroute dedicated freight line between the port of Rotterdam and the German border near Emmerich fell by 10% due to upgrading of Germany's Emmerich - Oberhausen line, which will significantly increase freight capacity on this key cross-border route. A large number of freight trains have been diverted via the conventional Dutch network.