The research concluded that current collaborations have limited impact because of the traditional competition between the two ports, a scope that’s too limited, and a lack of commitment. However, the report also states that Antwerp and Zeebrugge are highly complementary and face the same challenges. “Far-reaching cooperation makes both ports more robust in existing domains, consolidates local employment and strengthens the ports’ roles in Flanders and internationally,” states Deloitte.
“Intensified cooperation will also enable the ports to respond more quickly and effectively to future opportunities such as economies of scale, energy transition, innovation and digitalization. Even more, clients of both ports are also in favor of increased collaboration between Antwerp and Zeebrugge. In short, cooperation can yield strong win-win results for both ports, provided that there is a far-reaching integration between the two port authorities. As a result, a holding company and merger were the only management models retained in the governance analysis.”