Zeebrugge Port fights COVID-19 backlog with new strategy

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The past week, several terminals in the Port of Zeebrugge were confronted with problems concerning incoming cargo and a lack of storage capacity, due to a blockage in the logistics chain caused by the COVID 19 crisis.

A statement from the Port Authority released said it concerns mostly trailers and new vehicles produced and shipped before the crisis, which are now arriving in Zeebrugge but are no longer picked up for the end user/client.

This blockage is causing a saturation of the existing terminal space in the port of Zeebrugge. 

The port authority gathered several parties around the (digital) table, analysed the demand and supply and further evaluated several options, to make sure every port client was offered a satisfiable solution. 

All parties have agreed on the following strategy.

Firstly, terminal operators will make an extra effort to maximize the capacity on their own grounds. If this appears insufficient, there are two options.

Trailers can be stored on five different locations in the port free of charge, by a signed agreement with the port authority.

These locations are all existing parking facilities within the port. For the storage of new vehicles and automotive cargo, specific grounds will be granted to a specific port client. In this case, a specific agreement with the port authority is also necessary, as well as a small fee described in the document. 

The port authority will evaluate the needs of the terminals on a daily basis and will adjust and help when needed.

“It is important that a port authority can offer creative solutions to port clients in these difficult times. Working together is essential, since it is all the same purpose we aspire: keeping the operations as smooth as possible in our port, even in these circumstances,” said Rik Goetinck, CEO at the Port of Zeebrugge. 

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