Ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge come together to merge their respective ports
An agreement was reached between the City of Antwerp and the City of Bruges in Belgium to combine their respective ports.
The agreement marks the beginning of a phase of unification that is expected to take a year to finalise. The ports will, once completed, operate under the name 'Port of Antwerp-Bruges'.
The ports see the merger as an opportunity to improve their global supply chain role, especially as they move towards a low-carbon economy.
The goal is to make the Port of Antwerp-Bruges the first port in the world to reconcile the economy, the people and the environment.
The combined port will have a gross annual throughput of 278 million tonnes, handling 157 million tonnes of container freight per year, while the European hub for bulk cargo, truck cargo, natural gas, chemical cargo and cruise sectors will remain.
The two ports have identified three strategic goals as part of a joint plan: sustainable development, resilience, and energy and digital transformation leadership.
The Port of Antwerp-Bruges will aim to improve and make maximum use of the interconnectivity between the two ports in order to maximise the added value of a single port.
The transport of goods by rail between the two sites will be bundled, estuary traffic (on the North Sea by inland vessels) will be streamlined, and the priority list will also include pipeline connections.
Committed strategic investments, such as the new Zeebrugge sea lock and the additional Antwerp container capacity, will continue.
The port aims to find as many synergies as possible, to continue to build on popular social support for the economy of Flanders and to improve its position as a logistics, maritime and industrial center. Not only within Flanders and Belgium, but worldwide and at European level.
Maritime Business World