The Belgium-based ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge have agreed to merge, which will see them manage a throughput of 278 million tonnes a year together, creating Europe’s largest export port.

The unified port, which will be called Port of Antwerp-Bruges, is expected to become one of the largest breakbulk ports, as well as the largest port for the throughput of vehicles in Europe.

It is also anticipated to become the largest port for cruise ships in the Benelux, in addition to making up for more than 15% of Europe’s transited liquid natural gas (LNG)

The two ports are said to be largely complementary.

Antwerp has expertise in the handling and storage of containers, breakbulk and chemical products, while Zeebrugge is specialised in container handling and the transhipment of LNG as well as Roll-on, Roll-off (Ro-Ro) traffic.

The combined port aims to ‘become the world’s first port that reconciles economy, people and climate’.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Following the merger, there will be a focus on development and the optimised use of interconnectivity between the two ports.

Priorities will also include bundling of transportation of goods by rail between the two sites and estuary traffic optimisation.

Antwerp Port Authority directors board chair and port alderman Annick De Ridder said: “By joining forces, we are on the way to becoming Europe’s global port, while at the same time reinforcing our position as the most important container port in terms of tonnage, a solid Ro-Ro port and one of the largest breakbulk ports in Europe.”

The unified port will also focus on social and technological developments, such as energy transition, innovation and digitalisation.

Port of Antwerp-Bruges is anticipated to address future energy challenges in Flanders and the broader region by serving as an import hub for green hydrogen.

It will also work with industrial and maritime customers to cut down its carbon footprint, as well as to assess methods for carbon capture, utilisation and storage to become a low-carbon port.

The deal is pending multiple customary suspensive conditions, including approval from the Belgian Competition Authorities.