Coronavirus - Port of Antwerp Taskforce confirms: port is 100% operational

Coronavirus - Port of Antwerp Taskforce confirms: port is 100% operational

The third meeting of the Port of Antwerp Covid-19 Taskforce was held this morning. It confirmed that the port platform is 100% operational.

At the moment port operations are functioning smoothly. There is sufficient manpower to meet the demand for foodstuffs, and supply operations are continuing normally. The EU's "green lanes" for truck transport are now working better at European level and directives are being drawn up specifically for the barge industry. The economic impact on the port is getting more and more difficult to forecast, given the uncertainty about how consumer confidence and industrial activity will return and what the effect on the logistics chain will be.

The Port of Antwerp Covid-19 taskforce held its third meeting this morning. This multi-disciplinary, cross-border taskforce brings together the various players in the port organisation. It was set up to monitor the day-to-day operation of the port with a view to taking additional measures where necessary.

Port platform remains operational

At the moment the port platform is still working perfectly and there are no insurmountable problems. The rate of absence due to illness is actually falling throughout the chain of transport. There is a clear battle of efficiency to keep Europe supplied, with the introduction of EU "green lanes."

At the same time a directive is being drawn up specifically for barge operators in case of illness on board. This directive will be published once it has been finally approved by the relevant authorities.

In the meantime the existing measures continue to apply:

  • Basic preventive hygiene measures
  • Provision of sufficient cleaning products for machines
  • Documents exchanged in digital form wherever possible, in order to keep human contact to a minimum
  • Ships' crews and personnel on land communicate at a distance (by radio or telephone) wherever possible
  • Application of the rules of social distancing as far as possible, in particular by keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between people

Economic impact

At the moment Port of Antwerp is not experiencing any fall in the volume of freight. In fact there is a noticeable increase in the volume of pharmaceuticals and e-commerce. The supply of foodstuffs is also going smoothly. On the other hand there has been a fall in imports and exports of cars and other industrial components due to various industries closing down.

The large degree of uncertainty about the spread of the coronavirus and the effects on consumer confidence and the supply chains make it increasingly difficult to forecast the economic impact on the Port of Antwerp. Port of Antwerp will continue to monitor the situation and will respond to the demands of the logistics operators and the terminals.

For more information, see our Coronavirus web page. Besides that, we are organising a webinar on the economic and operational impact of corona on the Port of Antwerp. Register for this free webinar on Friday 3 April here.

About Port of Antwerp-Bruges

With an overall throughput of 287 million tonnes per year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a critical hub in worldwide trade and industry. The port is a crucial link for the handling of containers, breakbulk and for the throughput of vehicles. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is home to 1,400 companies and accommodates the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe. The port provides, directly and indirectly, a total of around 164,000 jobs and generates an added value of 21 billion euros.
The ambition for Port of Antwerp-Bruges is clear - to become the world's first port that reconciles economy, people and climate. As well as growing in a sustainable way, the Port also aims to focus on its unique position as a logistics, maritime and industrial centre and to take the lead in the transition to a circular and low-carbon economy. Together with the port community, customers and other partners, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is actively seeking innovative solutions for a sustainable future. High on the agenda is its responsibility for the environment and the surrounding society. 

The port sites of Antwerp and Zeebrugge are operated by the Antwerp-Bruges Port Authority, a limited liability company of public law with the City of Antwerp and the City of Bruges as its shareholders. The port employs 1,800 people. Vice-Mayor of Antwerp Annick De Ridder is President of the Board of Directors, the Mayor of Bruges Dirk De fauw is the Vice-President. Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the port’s day-to-day management.

The telephone number +32 492 15 41 39 is only for press inquiries. For other questions you can mail to [email protected]

Port of Antwerp-Bruges
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp