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The port of Aarhus

Denmark's largest container port.

Photograph: iStock

Text: Mariano Anthony Davies

Approximately 65% of all container traffic to Denmark goes through the Port of Aarhus – including many of the world's largest container ships. This extensive facility has resulted in a route network to almost any port globally.

The Port of Aarhus is not just the biggest in Denmark, it is also recognised as one of Europe's most efficient container ports and among the most efficient in the world as its cranes can perform more container lifts per hour than most other container ports.

Aarhus Port Authority has a strategy to become carbon neutral by 2030 – potentially making it one of the most sustainable ports in the world and for sure the most sustainable port in the Baltic Sea region.

The UN has a global focus on 17 SDGs (Sustainability Development Goals) to secure the future of our planet. Aarhus Port Authority has a strategy that focuses on four of these:

  • Sustainable energy.

  • Industry, innovation & infrastructure.

  • Sustainable cities & communities.

  • Life at sea.

Aarhus sdg initiatives

Discounts are given to environmentally friendly ships, where levels of NOx, Sox and CO2 are calculated in relation to the Environmental Shipping Index and use of shore power. As a result, the port is already able to supply green energy to ships and ferries.

In addition, all diesel engines are systematically being replaced with petrol or electric engines for higher efficiency. Furthermore, intelligent LED lighting has also been introduced, which has reduced electricity needs by almost 80%.

Biodiversity initiatives have also been taken at sea and on land. These include sowing wildflowers to attract bees and establishing breeding grounds for fish within the port to increase the overall biodiversity of the port area.

A water drone is used to remove any minor surface oil and waste that would otherwise drift out to sea. Finally, waste separation containers have been placed throughout the port to reduce the amount of waste incineration.

The port of Aarhus has become the most important commercial port in denmark and is situated just a stone's throw from the charming old city of Aarhus.

The port's business areas include:

Container facilities

Besides the efficiency already described, the port offers five-to-six-minute access to an outer city motorway network that stretches all the way to the southern tip of Italy. Given its accessibility and strategic placing, the port is used by many of the largest export companies in Denmark.

Solid and liquid bulk

It is Denmark's largest solid bulk ports with four separate terminals. The Bulk and Multi Terminals typically handle grain and feed produce as well as coal and fertiliser. Its Omni Terminal can unload stones and gravel and its Oil Terminal can carry out advanced unloading of vegetable and mineral oils.

Ro-Ro facility

Aarhus Port has advanced and quick ro-ro (roll on and roll off) facilities for the transportation of goods and people within Denmark and throughout the Baltic Sea region. This includes a fast ferry service to the northern tip of Zealand – the quickest connection between Denmark's two largest cities.

Cruise ships

The number of cruise ships that spend a day in Aarhus Harbour increases every year as Denmark's second-largest city has many tourist attractions and its people are known for their kindness and courtesy.


The port has bulk storage facilities for such items as gain and nuts but also for refrigerated and frozen goods.

Land and sea services

Aarhus is a full-service port offering piloting, towing and cable routing services as well as many modern cranes for loading and unloading.

The Port of Aarhus has become the most important commercial port in Denmark and is situated just a stone's throw from the charming old city of Aarhus.

A Room with a view

After a hard-working business day in Aarhus or for a young couple looking for a romantic and affordable hotel with magnificent views, you should consider booking a room at Hotel Atlantic, from which you will have easy access to both the city and the harbour area. Besides the breath-taking winter evenings and night lights and the summer bustle views, both the harbour area and city are within easy walking distance.

One of those walks could be to Aarhus Harbour Library "DOKK1" – more than just an impressive harbourside library in this so-called "city of smiles".

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