Port of Antwerp launches shipping guidance system


Vessels using the Scheldt and docks at the Port of Antwerp will benefit from a new shipping guidance service launched by the Port. 

Coming into service on 1 March, Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) will ensure safer and smoother shipping traffic in the Port, providing information and advice on ship navigation, weather conditions, calamities and other potential risks. 

VTS will monitor the port through its three sectors: on 1 March, VTS will start at the Waasland sector in the docks on the Left Bank, operational Monday to Friday from 08:00-16:00. From 3 April, the service will operate 24/7. 

On the Right Bank, two sectors, sector Polder and sector City, will benefit from VTS during the phased rollout beginning in the autumn. 

All three sectors currently have their own Very-High Frequency (VHF) channel to communicate with road users. The start-up of the new shipping guidance will provide shipping traffic information monitored by a VTS operator. 

The service is the latest digital service to be rolled out by the Port since the major announcement of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges and the merging of operations between the two ports. In February 2021 the Port announced it will increase safety at its key walls by implementing digital sensors on bollards. 

Rob Smeets, COO, Port of Antwerp, said, “By starting up the Vessel Traffic Service, we will be able to respond better to increasingly busy conditions in our port in the future.” 

Based in the VTS centre in the Antwerp Coordination Centre (ACC) at the Zandvliet lock, the service will provide 33 jobs. 

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