Extra Container Capacity Antwerp (ECA)

With the 'Extra Container Capacity Antwerp' (ECA) project, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever and the Flemish government are giving substance to the sustainable development and efficient use of the port area.

Certified Pick up is a digital platform for the secure and efficient handling of the container import process.

Initiator(s)

Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Left Bank Corporation and the Flemish government

Duration

23/11/2023 - 31/12/2030

Location

Antwerp, Beveren, Zwijndrecht

Why?

Port of Antwerp-Bruges is Belgium's most important economic engine. Container traffic plays a major role in this regard. Containers keep our society and economy going. They ensure our provisioning, allow our companies to flourish and distribute our Belgian products on international markets. After years of rising container volumes, we have seen a slight decline since 2022. The capacity at the terminals is at such a limit that container shipping companies are choosing others over Antwerp more often. That explains (in part) the falling volumes. So the need for additional container capacity is beginning to take on increasing urgency.

In 2005, a container ship had an average capacity of 10,000 TEU. Today, the port receives ships carrying more than 20,000 TEU every week. The increasing use of containers for goods transport will continue. In order to continue receiving the growing number of containers and ships of this type, there is a need for high-performance infrastructure.

De haven ontvangt wekelijks schepen met meer dan 20 000 TEU aan boord. Om het stijgende aantal containers en dit soort schepen te blijven ontvangen, is er behoefte aan performante infrastructuur.

Additional container capacity is needed in order to retain the trust of investors and secure local business. Sustainable growth is essential in order to secure Antwerp's position as a hub in the global market. In order to maintain this competitive position, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is investing in more and better container capacity. With ECA, Port of Antwerp-Bruges will ensure sustainable growth and the prosperity of current and future generations.

Waarom heeft Port of Antwerp-Bruges extra containercapaciteit nodig?

Sustainable growth that reconciles the economy, people and climate

With new hyper-efficient terminals, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is building the port infrastructure of the future. Through research and participation, the aim is a smarter project which balances economic needs with the concerns of the environment. Consideration for our environment and climate is the touchstone for everything we do. Port of Antwerp-Bruges fully supports the European and Flemish climate ambitions, and aims to be climate-neutral by 2050.

Optimisation of existing and future space

Various alternatives were considered in the search for the most suitable location for extra container capacity in Antwerp. The Flemish Government approved the siting of the extra capacity, in a preferred decision. This decision is the result of consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

The extra capacity will not only come from the expansion thanks to a new tidal dock, but also from the development of land within the existing port area. In this way, ECA is optimising the existing and future space.

 

ECA will allow Port of Antwerp-Bruges to gain an additional container capacity of 7.2 million TEU.

De extra capaciteit komt er zowel door de uitbreiding dankzij een nieuw getijdendok als verdere ontwikkeling van gronden binnen het bestaande havengebied.

Growth in harmony with the surrounding environment

The essential growth of the port requires solutions which will limit inconvenience in the surrounding area. Port activities have an impact on the wider environment – beneficial, but sometimes also disruptive – on both sides of the Scheldt and in the rest of Flanders.

Through dialogue and transparent communication, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is turning the concerns of the neighbourhood into concrete improvement projects. We are tackling noise pollution by installing noise buffers.

 

With the greening of container traffic and by installing and maintaining nature areas and cycle paths, we are increasing the quality of life for residents in the vicinity. In Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe, nature, agriculture and the port go hand in hand.

In Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe gaan de natuur, de landbouw en de haven hand in hand.

Innovation in the greening of container traffic

Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a pioneer when it comes to making container traffic greener. By investing in the electrification of terminals, emission reductions and the modal shift, we are accelerating the sustainability of shipping and logistics.

Towards zero emissions of nitrogen and greenhouse gases by 2050

Ships that berth use auxiliary engines to generate power. This consumption makes a significant contribution to the total emissions of nitrogen oxides and greenhouse gases in the port. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is aiming to reduce emissions from ships in the port area to zero by 2050. We are bringing this about by providing innovative solutions, such as shore power, as standard at the ECA terminals, and rolling this technology out at existing terminals.

 

Thanks to shore power, moored ships can connect to the electricity grid, allowing them to switch off their engines. Moreover, the new terminals will also be virtually emission-free. As a pioneer, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is helping other ports achieve more efficient and greener container traffic. 

Smart approach to container transport

As the logistical crossroads in Europe, Antwerp's road network has to handle a lot of traffic. ECA is fully committed to the modal split: more transport of containers via rail, inland navigation and night transport. Transporting containers in an alternative way or at different times frees up Antwerp's road network and avoids congestion. Finally, we are targeting a reduction in emissions from trucks with our efforts in electrification and hydrogen projects for road transport. As such, in 2021 we launched a pilot project on night transport and electric transport.

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