Belgium Port of Antwerp - the second largest harbour in Europe

The Port of Antwerp, 60 km north of Brussels and near the Dutch frontier, is also a gateway to Europe, handling more than 180 million tonnes of freight annually. Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe for international shipping freight and the fourth largest in the world.

Its central position in North-West Europe and its excellent connections with the most important centres of industry and consumption in Europe have led to Antwerp becoming a very important link in the chain of international trade.

But this port is much more than just a loading and unloading point: here, goods are also stored, repacked, distributed and made ready for transport to their final destinations.
Thanks to its enormous storage capacity, the port acts as the “supermarket of Europe” where all types of products obtain the specialised handling and storage they require.
Antwerp is the only port where millions of tonnes of freight can be carried so far inland. Freight can be brought 80 km inland to Antwerp by the most environment-friendly of all transport modes, avoiding many truckloads being carried over the same distance.

In 2008, the port of Antwerp handled 189.4 million tonnes of freight, with containers naturally playing a very important role. Last year, a total container volume of 101.4 million tonnes was loaded and unloaded. Also during this period, 39.3 million tonnes of liquid bulk and 27.3 million tonnes of dry bulk were loaded and unloaded. In the meantime, conventional/breakbulk freight is doing well in Antwerp. In the course of 2008, ships brought 16.9 million tonnes of conventional general cargo to and from the port of Antwerp, along with more than 4.4 million tonnes or ro/ro freight.

The visit programme

11 June 2009
4.00 p.m. - Presentation of the port by Mr Luc Arnouts (Chief Commercial Officer, Antwerp Port Authority) and Em. Prof. dr. Willy Winkelmans (Honorary President ITMMA – Institute of Transport & Maritime Management Antwerp). Discussion about the crisis and EU maritime development.
6.00 p.m. - Visit to the port by boat accompanied by Mr Arnouts (Port Authority)
9.00 p.m. -. Dinner on board with Prof. Winkelmans

12 June 2009
9.00 a.m. - Visit by bus of the port including port enterprises and container terminals. Presentation by Mr Jean-Pierre Verschueren (Marketing Advisor, Antwerp Port Authority).
1.30 p.m. - Lunch hosted by the Port Autority