For this logistics project, Lingang will work in close collaboration with Chinese container operator Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP). Cosco acquired the APM deep-sea container terminal in Zeebrugge in 2017, with the aim of expanding it into a hub for Northern Europe.
The group wanted to invest in a port with adequate capacity, good maritime access, high productivity and a favourable location for its markets. They opted for Zeebrugge because its coastal port ticked all of these boxes. Since the acquisition, CSP has made considerable investments in the terminal, resulting in 30% annual growth in deep-sea container services, once again putting Zeebrugge on the international container map. Development of a logistics cluster fits perfectly with the ambition to bring more container traffic to the CSP Zeebrugge Terminal.
Jie Hu, CEO of Lingang Overseas Belgium, Lingang Group: 'The Port of Zeebrugge has numerous agreements with the Yangshan Deep-Water Port in Shanghai, where we developed a similar logistics platform ten years ago. Both are true gateways, where these kinds of investments can facilitate growth in deep-sea volume. We are focusing on logistics operators, but thanks to the rapid growth of e-commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic, we see a lot of opportunities there as well. I also want to express my appreciation for our partnership with MBZ. Despite the extra challenges last year due to COVID-19, we managed to work the project out in a highly constructive process, to the point where we can now go ahead and start construction."