The final approval of the merger has been received enthusiastically both in Bruges and in Antwerp, and has been called “a historic moment” by the respective city councils.
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Officially approved: the unified Port of Antwerp-Bruges
This is a beautiful marriage between what once were fierce competitors. One in three jobs in Flanders is directly or indirectly related to exports, so the importance of the merger cannot be underestimated.
The Port of Antwerp-Bruges will have a unified organizational structure with respect for each company’s culture. We will be investing in each of the two platforms and therefore generate growth for both. The approval in the city council was the last hurdle of a long and intense preliminary process. Now, the real work can begin.
In the case of the unified Port of Antwerp-Bruges, the whole will truly be greater than the sum of the parts. Why? Because the two ports are largely complementary. While the Port of Antwerp focuses on the handling and storage of containers, breakbulk and chemical products, the Port of Zeebrugge is a major port for RoRo traffic, container handling and liquid natural gas transshipment.
To get the most out of the unification, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges will also leverage the interconnectivity between Antwerp and Zeebrugge – for instance by bundling goods transportation by rail between the ports, optimizing estuary traffic (using inland vessels on the North Sea) and making use of pipeline connections.