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2021-07-01

Lingang Group develops logistics platform at Port of Zeebrugge

On 30 June 2021 workers in the Port of Zeebrugge broke ground on a state-of-the-art logistics park spanning 76,000 m². This investment project by Chinese group Lingang is geared towards players importing or exporting goods by container between Europe and overseas destinations. With this complement to the CSP Zeebrugge Terminal and the expanded hinterland connections, the port has all the tools it needs to further expand and establish deep-sea activities in Zeebrugge.

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Intercontinental logistics hub

The Lingang Group, an industrial park developer, has started construction of a 76,000 m² logistics platform at the Port of Zeebrugge. The site, divided into ten units, each with ten loading and unloading docks and ready-to-use office facilities, is one of the largest logistics projects in West Flanders. It will also boast a 22,000 m² container yard, an entrance building with offices, parking for 200 cars, a waiting zone and a dropoff zone for trucks. With this investment, Lingang aims to attract and accommodate both Chinese and international logistics players importing and exporting goods by container between Europe and the rest of the world. Its main focus lies on e-commerce, automotive and food sectors.

Maritieme logistieke zone

Further expansion of deep-sea activities

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."

It's a great example of a win-win partnership between China and Europe.

Pepijn De VreeseChief Officer International Trade at Port of Zeebrugge

A project in two phases

The ground breaking ceremony took place on 30 June. Completion of the site is expected to be in August 2022. In addition to this 15 ha site, Lingang also has the option to develop a further 15 ha. This will be in a second phase, including a direct rail link with a line running to the warehouse.

 

Pepijn De Vreese, Chief Officer International Trade at Port of Zeebrugge: "This investment project is a real game changer for Zeebrugge. This state-of-the-art platform will allow us to further expand and establish our deep-sea activities in the port. It's a great example of a win-win partnership between China and Europe. This will enable us to capitalise on the strong growth in e-commerce, for instance. This logistics cluster is the perfect complement not only to the CSP deep-sea container platform and our excellent hinterland connections, but also to the recent partnership agreement with Oostende Airport."

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