Even more, the investment represents one of the largest logistics projects in the province of West Flanders – and the numbers tell the tale. The logistics park will be divided into 10 units, each with 10 loading and unloading docks and turnkey office facilities. Additionally, it will include a 22,000 m² container yard, an access building with offices, parking space for 200 cars, a waiting area and a drop-off zone for trucks.
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Lingang (China) builds massive logistics park in Flanders
Lingang’s aim for the logistics park is to attract international logistics players who import or export goods by container to or from Europe, particularly in segments such as e-commerce, automotive cargo and food. To carry out the project, the Chinese group is working with Chinese container operator Cosco Shipping Ports, which acquired the APM deep-sea container terminal in Zeebrugge in 2017 with the aim of developing it into a Northern European hub.
In searching for the ideal investment location, Lingang was looking for a port with sufficient capacity, excellent maritime accessibility, high productivity and a strategic location. Eventually, the group picked the Port of Zeebrugge for exactly those reasons. What’s more, since taking over the APM terminal, Cosco Shipping Ports has invested considerably in the site, resulting in a yearly 30% growth of its deep-sea container services and putting Zeebrugge firmly on the international container map.
Zeebrugge has many similarities with the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, where we developed a similar logistics platform. Both are gateways where our investment can facilitate deep sea volume growth. I would like to express my appreciation for the cooperation with Port of Zeebrugge. Despite the challenges caused by COVID-19, we could carry out the project in a constructive way.
Lingang officially kicked off the construction of the new logistics park during a foundation stone laying ceremony on 30 June 2021, attended by Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon, Jing Yang (CFO of Lingang and chairwoman of Lingang Overseas) and Dirk De fauw (chairman of the Zeebrugge port authority and mayor of Bruges).
The site is expected to be completed in August 2022. In addition to this 15 ha site, Lingang has the option to develop another 15 ha in a second phase, which will also include a direct rail connection with a branch line to the warehouse.
The Port of Zeebrugge has all the capabilities to play a leading role in the field of deep-sea services. We are very pleased that Lingang has chosen Zeebrugge for this major logistics platform, which will considerably strengthen our economic position.
For years, Chinese companies have been among the top 10 foreign direct investors in Flanders – and Lingang’s investment project only adds to this trend:
While Brussels Airport is becoming a hub for Chinese cargo flights with operations by Sichuan Airlines and Longhao Airlines, the Port of Zeebrugge is truly a gateway to Europe for Chinese maritime flows with the presence now of both China Cosco Shipping and Lingang Overseas Industrial Park. It is a sign of the expanding role of Flanders in the Belt and Road Initiative (#BRI).
This investment project is of an unprecedented scale and forms the perfect addition to the CSP deep-sea container platform and our excellent hinterland connections. It’s a wonderful example of a win-win cooperation between China and Europe.