Shipping is the general term given for navigation on the sea (ocean shipping) or on the inland waterways (inland waterway shipping). Generally, ‘shipping’ does not refer to pleasure yachts, but to commercial trading ships. Supporting ships are for instance tugboats, dredgers and supply ships.

For the Netherlands, shipping has an enormous economic value. The country has, for instance, one of the largest ports in the world - Rotterdam. Moreover, there is a large branched network of rivers, channels, lakes and other waters. Many goods that enter the Netherlands are shipped to their final destination. Besides merchant shipping, anyone with a yacht or boat can enjoy the treats of the Dutch waters.