The port community at work

In the early part of 2010, 10+1 workgroups were formed to set various “building blocks” in place. These workgroups were headed by senior representatives of the Port Authority and port companies acting jointly (50/50). Between February and June 2010 more than 200 participants from 80 companies and organisations played an active part. The workgroups dealt with a number of commercial subjects (intermodalism, containers, dry bulk, liquid bulk, conventional/breakbulk, logistics and industry) together with a number of preconditions for efficient operation of the port (shipping traffic management, IT & Customs, branding & promotion and infrastructure & mobility). The 11th subject was dock labour, but this was dealt with in the traditional manner, within the usual consultative bodies. The 11 workgroups adhered closely to the vision of the Port Authority’s 2009-2013 business plan which is based on four central values, namely efficiency, sustainability, dynamism and general support, with the ambition to make Antwerp the leading general cargo port in Europe (for both conventional and containerised port).

Strong through collaboration

The first phase (January-June 2010) was brought to a close on 22 June 2010 with a General Assembly of the port community. The main theme was “Strong through collaboration,” while the central message was to concentrate on “Supply chain thinking.” There was also felt to be a clear need to create greater synergy between the main sectors within the port; there still tends to be too much separation between the main components of the port, namely the port hub with its loading, unloading and transhipment activities, the logistics facilities (5.6 million square metres) and the industrial companies located within the port.

The second phase of the project ran from September to December 2010 and concluded with an “integration day” on 14 December covering the various workgroup activities. This phase mainly focused on a number of subjects that arose from the workgroups. Two new subjects were added, namely Sustainability and Talent.

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