The Port of Antwerp has said its operations have not been affected at all by the coronavirus outbreak and that there is “no reason to panic” – despite China being its second biggest trading partner.
In a statement, the port said it is following the advice of World Health Organisation (WHO), EU, FPS Public Health (Saniport) and FPS Mobility.
As it stands, all incoming ships must prevent a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH), whereby the captain must indicate 24 hours before arrival any sick people on board as well as a list of the last 10 ports the vessel called at.
However, the port went onto say that sailings from China have dropped by approximately 20% and that it expects a 1% reduction in container transport in 2020.
Furthermore, it is estimated that a month of traffic from China will be lost as a result of the outbreak, this corresponds to approximately 115,000 TEU.
Trade with between the Port of Antwerp and China grew by 16% to 1.39 million TEU in 2019.