In 2002, the densest railway network in the world comprises 3,422 km (2,126 mi) of track operated by the government-controlled Belgian National Railway Co. In addition, Belgium has a regional railway network of 27,950 km (17,367 mi). The road network comprises 145,774 km (90,584 mi) of paved highways, including 1,674 km (1,040 mi) of expressways. All major European highways pass through Belgium.
Inland waterways comprise 2,043 km (1,270 mi) of rivers and canals, and are linked with those of France, Germany, and the Netherlands. In 2001, 1,570 km (976 mi) of these waterways are in regular commercial use. The chief port, Antwerp (one of the world's busiest ports), on the Scheldt River, about 84 km (52 mi) from the sea, handles three-fourths of the country's foreign cargo. Other leading ports are Gent and Zeebrugge. Liège is the third-largest inland river port in Western Europe, after Duisburg, Germany, and Paris. In 2001 the Belgian merchant fleet was comprised of 20 vessels, with a total of 31,362 GRT (54,058 DWT). The fleet numbered 101 ships (2.2 million GRT) in 2002, but offshore registry programs and so-called "flags of convenience" have enticed ship owners into foreign registry.
In 2001, there were an estimated 42 airports, 25 with paved runways. The Belgian national airline, Sabena, formed in 1923, is the third-oldest international airline. Brussels' National Airport,
an important international terminus, is served by more than 30 major airlines. In 2001, 8,489,000 passengers flew on scheduled domestic and international flights.