You are here

How Flanders' infrastructure connects your business to the world

Through Flanders, multinational corporations have prime, rapid access to the rest of the European continent.

Dense network of ports, airports, roads, rail and waterways

Not only does Flanders boast 4 international seaports and 3 international airports, it also has the world’s densest road network and extremely well-connected railroad and inland waterway networks. The highways of Flanders link to those of France, Germany, the Netherlands, and those of the UK via ferry links or the Channel Tunnel. As a result, logistics companies and distribution centers are able to transport goods from Flanders to most major European markets within 24 hours by road.

Map with logistics hotspots in Flanders, Belgium: airports, seaports, roads, rail and inland waterways

Home to some of the world’s best ports

According to the World Economic Forum, Flanders’ ports are the 6th best in the world

They also score high on accessibility and low on traffic congestion, with short lead times between the port and the customer.

Quality of port infrastructure - The Global Competitiveness Report, 2016-2017

Ranking Country
1 Netherlands
2 Singapore
3 UAE
4 Hong Kong
5 Panama
6 Belgium
7 Finland
8 Iceland
9 Denmark
10 USA
11 Germany
12 UK
23 France

Source: World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report, 2016-2017

In short, this is why you should invest near a port of Flanders:

  • ideal geographical location in the heart of western Europe,
  • competitive, total supply chain cost and a complete logistical solution,
  • excellent delivery of quality services.

Port of Antwerp: feel the chemistry

  • Located in the central northern part of Flanders
  • 2nd largest European port in international shipping traffic
  • Home to Europe’s largest and the world’s most diverse petrochemical cluster
  • Handled 214 million tons of freight in 2016 (i.e. more than 10 million TEU)

Port of Ghent: reap the rewards of biobased activities

  • Located in the central eastern area of Flanders
  • The world’s 2nd largest fruit juice port
  • European leader in biofuel transport
  • Handled 51 million tons of freight in 2016: 21.9 tons were shipped via inland waterways, while 29.1 tons were transported via sea

Port of Zeebrugge: the world’s prime car port

  • World’s leading port for the transshipment of new cars: 2.7 million cars handled in 2016
  • Situated on the east coast of Flanders near the northern border of Belgium
  • 3rd most important seaport in Flanders
  • Handled 38 million tons of freight in 2016

Port of Ostend: get rolling at a major ro-ro port

  • Specializes in the handling of roll-on/roll-off goods as well as sand and gravel for the construction industry
  • Focuses strongly on making a Blue Growth shift

  • Major hub for the construction and maintenance of offshore windfarms in the North Sea
  • Excellent connections to Flanders’ motorways and railway network
  • Handled around 1.5 million tons of freight in 2016

Very dense road and railway network

  • Worldwide #1 in terms of road network density per square kilometer
  • World’s 4th-densest railway network, covering an area of 13,700 km2
  • 1,700 kilometers of track
  • Rail transportation output of 6.51 billion person kilometers and 3.67 billion freight ton-kilometers (2015)

High-potential inland waterway network

  • One of the world’s densest river and canal networks
  • 1,375 kilometers of navigable waterways, 1,076 used for commercial navigation
  • 80% of all companies in Flanders located fewer than 10 kilometers from a navigable waterway

Easily accessible through four international airports

Being roughly the same size as the county of Yorkshire, Flanders is not only an easy place to travel around by car or public transport. The small region also boasts four international airports, easily connecting your business to the rest of the world in no time.

Interested in doing business in Flanders?

Let us help you!

  • We can introduce you to other companies, banks and regulators
  • We organize site visits to real estate locations
  • We assist with all legal aspects of setting up a business
  • We're an official government agency
  • Our services are completely free
  • We are a team of international experts

Receive our handbook to growing your business in Flanders

  • It's completely free.
  • Get an overview of all incentives relevant to your company.
  • Tax system explained in-depth.
  • Learn how to set up your business quickly.
  • Discover the benefits of Flanders (in addition to the chocolate).