The Port of Vlaardingen is located in the southwestern coastal zone of The Netherlands on the Nieuwe Waterweg about nine kilometers west of the Port of Rotterdam, about 20 kilometers southwest of Scheveningen Port, and about 30 kilometers northwest of the Port of Moerdijk. In 2007, over 71 thousand people called the Port of Vlaardingen home.
The seventh port of The Netherlands, the Port of Vlaardingen was a traditional fishing port until the 1872 opening of the Nieuwe Waterweg that afforded the port short access to the North Sea. In 1958, a large shipyard was built on Rozenburg Island that contributed to the Port of Vlaardingen’s importance. The local economy is based on herring fisheries, metallurgical and chemical works, and dairies.
People lived in the area around the Port of Vlaardingen as early as 2900 BC. A 1300 BC skeleton was found at the edge of the city in 1990 that held human nuclear DNA, the oldest ever found in The Netherlands.
Historical documents mention the village of Marsum in about 726 AD, recording the founding of a church that the Port of Vlaardingen grew up around. In the early 11th Century, Dirk III, Count of Holland, used the Port of Vlaardingen as a stronghold, levying unlawful tolls on ships that used the Meuse River. German Emperor Henry II sent an unsuccessful army there to stop the levies, but Dirk III overcame their attack in the Battle of Vlaardingen.
In 1163, a terrible flood devastated the Port of Vlaardingen, and the Counts of Holland abandoned the town. Until the late 13th Century, the town stagnated. In 1273, the Count of Holland Floris V granted city rights to the Port of Vlaardingen.
In 1351, Count of Holland William V won several victories near the Port of Vlaardingen that ended in the establishment of the Bavarian line of the House of Holland.
In 1855, the Zouteveen municipality was merged with Vlaardingerambacht. In 1941, the Germans merged those two municipalities with the Port of Vlaardingen.
Over time, the Port of Vlaardingen grew a busy ship-building industry, and it was an important harbor for herring fishers. After World War II, fishing boats stopped using the Port of Vlaardingen.