Further developing the hinterland

A port is not an island, it is a link in a long logistical chain. Antwerp Port Authority therefore takes many initiatives to strengthen relations between the hinterland and the port, in collaboration with the private sector. These can take the form of collaboration agreements, intermodal products (rail and barge connections), stakeholdings and setting up inland hubs.

Giving the port greater impact on the logistics chain

Through its hinterland policy the Port Authority also seeks to raise the proportion of freight sent by barge and rail, thus taking the load off the road network in and around Antwerp, while at the same time benefiting the environment and enabling the port to play a greater role within the overall logistics chain. Furthermore, developing multimodal hinterland hubs makes it possible to react more effectively to the accelerating pace of international trade and to offer potential investors an integrated logistics network. It also permits space to be created for port-related activities such as storage, distribution, manufacturing and creation of added value.

From this point of view the Antwerp hinterland extends far beyond Flanders and Belgium. In the Port Authority’s policy a number of regions have been defined as belonging to the natural market served by the port. These include in particular western Germany, southern Netherlands and northern France.

In the case of Germany attention focuses in the first instance on North-Rhine Westphalia. Various options are being examined here that are attractive in terms of the large concentration of freight sent to Antwerp, together with a number of interesting current projects. It remains the intention to upgrade the connections between the Ruhr area and Antwerp and to strengthen the economic links between the two regions. There are various ways of attaining this objective.

Northern France has always been a very important region for Antwerp. The Port Authority seeks to further develop relations with this region by gaining a better idea of the needs and requirements of French shippers and looking at how the Port Authority can play a facilitating role in meeting these.

As for the southern Netherlands, the efficiency of transport to overseas destinations can be further improved through collaboration agreements that make use of existing infrastructure such as the Albert canal and the rail network.


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