The cities of Antwerp and Bruges have reached an agreement to merge their respective ports, expected to take a year to finalise.
The merger will see the creation of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges and will see the port will become one of Europe’s most important container hub, managing 157 tonnes of container traffic per year, and the largest port for the throughput of vehicles in Europe.
With a total throughput of 278 million tonnes per year, the new port will be able to manage unprecedented cargo demand in the coming years.
The two ports will complement each other in traffic handling: Antwerp will specialise in the handling of containers, break bulk, and chemical products.
The Port of Zeebrugg, Bruges, is a major port for RoRo handling, container handling and the transshipment of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
By joining forces, POA and Zeebrugge will strengthen their position within the global logistics chain and continue their commitment to sustainable growth. Here are just some of the changes in traffic this merger will bring:
- Port of Antwerp-Bruges will become the 13th ranked port globally (in terms of TEU)
- 15% of total gas transited in Europe will move through the port
- 18.1 million tonnes worth of new vehicles will go through the port.
The Antwerp-Bruges port plans to make key inroads levying advantages for innovation and digitalisation, in order to improve efficiency and reduce overheads along the supply chain.
It also aims to make progress as a hub for green hydrogen and the hydrogen economy. Additionally, the port, in collaboration with wider stakeholders, will examine methods of applying Carbon Capture, Utilisation & Storage (CCUS) as part of its work to decarbonise its footprint.
Dirk De fauw, Mayor of Bruges and Chair of the Zeebrugge Port Authority, said by combining their own strengths in LNG and automotive handling, the port will be able to create greater output than previously.
“We will achieve this in the interests of and in consideration of our shared port operations, our city, and our region,” he added.