Safe and efficient

In the Scheldt Treaties with the Netherlands it was agreed that shipping traffic on the Scheldt should be managed according to the “chain approach.” This means that instead of being restricted to the port or sections of the river, traffic management is treated as an interconnected chain, from the open sea right up to the berth in port, so that ships are able to proceed from end to end of the chain quickly, efficiently, cost-effectively and above all safely.

The chain is organised so as to take maximum advantage of existing or planned navigation possibilities. Such an approach is also of vital importance in maintaining and reinforcing the competitive position of the port of Antwerp. Only in this way is it possible to offer customer-oriented planning, management and handling of all flows of traffic to, within and from the port.

To achieve this the Port Authority decided among other things to modify its own internal organisation. The “Chain approach think tank” was set up in 2009 with the task of mapping out this reform. The think tank was made up of members of personnel who occupy key positions within the nautical chain, along with colleagues from the support services. This eventually led to the setting up of a Shipping Traffic Management department.

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