Ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge to collaborate more closely for joint marketing and positioning themselves more strongly abroad
The ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge are to collaborate more closely in future and carry out joint marketing in the container trade, says the Port of Antwerp. In this way they seek to attract new trade to the Flemish ports and so increase their market share. For this purpose an economic collaboration agreement between the two ports was signed in the presence of Flemish government minister Ben Weyts, responsible for port policy. The agreement confirms Antwerp's position as an "International gateway," its role as a mega-container port and the need to build the new Saeftinghe dock. Indeed the port of Antwerp has experienced a spectacular increase of 8% in its container volume this year. At the same time the agreement confirms the role of Zeebrugge as a container platform.
In the future the operators of the respective ports will meet on a more regular basis to discuss developments in the container sector and consider how the ports can collaborate commercially. The market is changing rapidly, so that collaborating commercially and combining forces in this way can offer lots of new opportunities.
The private sector represented by Stephan Vanfraeichem, manager of Voka – Chamber of Commerce – Alfaport reacted enthusiastically: "For the private sector it is important to aim at attracting new trade," he declared. "The commercial collaboration between Antwerp and Zeebrugge will enable us to have a bigger cake for everyone. It is therefore also very positive that they will focus on ways on which their respective strengths can complement one another. This once again confirms the necessity of building the Saeftinghe dock. In the end the customers are the ones who decide which port to use, but it's certainly a good thing for the Flemish ports to influence that decision in their favour."