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International Cargo Seaport: Port of Antwerp

Posted in International Seaport - 25 Oct 2021, 9:45 AM

The Port of Antwerp varies in its size, but it is an important part of Belgium’s economy and history. Covering 11,246 hectares of total area, the port is a home for 1,000 companies and numerous functions that support Belgium’s economy, trading, and tourism.

About Port of Antwerp

Port of Antwerp has a strategic location in the middle of the European continent. Its massive size covers the Antwerp and East Flanders Provinces, right at the upper end of Scheldt River. A massive area is a place of 86 terminals, 40 docks, and 24 bridges.

The History

Scheldt River has had important roles in trading since the Middle Ages. However, Antwerp’s full potential as a location for a port was acknowledged by Napoleon Bonaparte at the beginning of the 19th Century. He started the construction of a lock and dock in 1811 called Bonaparte Dock. The second dock followed in 1813, called the Willem Dock.

The Port of Antwerp experienced the modern Golden Age after the Belgian Revolution in 1830 and the coming of the 20th Century. During the First World War, Winston Churchill recognized the importance of the dock and even defended it using his forces. Meanwhile, during the Second World War, the port was turned into a place for storing war equipment, combat vehicles, and ammunition.

When the war stopped, there were efforts to return the port into a trading facility. In 1989, the completion of the Berendrecht Lock on the right bank of the river was finished. It was followed by the development of the Waaslandhaven Lock on the left bank in the 1990s, and finally Deurganck Dock in 2007 to extend the port’s capacity.

Volume of Transaction in Port of Antwerp

The Port of Antwerp is one of the busiest in Europe. In 2020, it boasted 12.04 million TEUs of container traffic. The numbers are projected to increase thanks to the expansion plan that will be started in 2023. The expansion is projected to improve the volume of transactions up to 7.2 million TEUs per year.

Currently, the port provides around 143,000 jobs for local and international workers. The sheer volume of transactions and activities also gives it 19 billion Euros of added values every year, with 4.1 percent of contribution toward Belgium’s GDP.

Interesting Facts

Port of Antwerp is more than just a trading facility. Nature reserves surround the port; some of them are situated within the port area. It is also known as a location for outdoor walking paths, biking paths, and various restaurants.

Port of Antwerp is also one of the most popular spots for cycling enthusiasts. Many areas in the port are open for outdoor and commute biking paths. The port authority has even invested in constructing cycling lanes along the existing Noorderlaan and Scheldelaan Roads. Local tourism is also alive with various services of professional guided tours in the port area.

The combination of strategic location, complete facilities, and bustling activities makes the Port of Antwerp an important fixture of Belgium. The port boasts historical, environmental, and cultural importance aside from the economy, making it even more impressive as an essential trading facility.

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