Cologne, home to 1.007 million inhabitants, is the fourth largest city in the Federal Republic of Germany and the largest of North Rhine-Westphalia. Given its 2,000 years of history the city is known for both its cultural and architectural heritage. Its favourable location on the banks of the river Rhine and at the interface of major East-West trade routes makes Cologne an important commercial location. Today the city is the largest railway transportation hub and accommodates the biggest container and transshipment station in Germany. The Rhine ports are among the most important inland ports in Germany.