• Home
  • News
  • Container barge transport to become more efficient in the port of Antwerp
  • 2018 April 23 13:39

    Container barge transport to become more efficient in the port of Antwerp

    On 19 April 2018, all stakeholders involved in the port of Antwerp signed a roadmap of structural measures to make container barge transport more efficient and further develop it. According to the port, concrete initiatives have been defined for this purpose and drawn up in an implementation plan. With this agreement the parties have not only confirmed their previous commitments but have also worked out structural and above all feasible solutions to permit sustainable growth of container barge transport and of the port of Antwerp itself.

    In the spring of 2017 the rapidly growing freight volumes and the ever larger sizes of seagoing ships calling at the port led to peak load on the terminals, with longer waiting times for container barges as a result. Time to do something about it. With the support of the shipping terminals concerned, together with the barge operators, shipping companies, shippers, forwarders, NxtPort, CEPA, the Flemish Government, Flemish Waterways, Alfaport-Voka (Chamber of Commerce) and Antwerp Port Authority, a declaration of intent was signed on 6 July that year to promote container barge transport in the port. To get from this declaration of intent to a concrete plan of action supported by all the parties, workgroups devoted to particular subjects were started up in September. Altogether some 40 workshops were held.

    “The financial and operational investments to which all parties committed themselves reflect the importance that the stakeholders attach to efficient transport of goods by barge to and from the hinterland. This mode of transport is a crucial player in the economical, sustainable and mobility-friendly model that the port of Antwerp aims for. I would like to thank all parties involved for their unremitting efforts, their expertise and their final result. This is an excellent, future-oriented plan that will benefit the entire port and the barge community,” declared Port Authority CEO Jacques Vandermeiren.

    The agreements concentrate on three main areas: planning & collaboration, consolidation and digitisation.

    The combination of all these measures should give new impetus to container barge transport in the port of Antwerp and permit the desired gains in efficiency for all partners in the chain.

    The collaboration between the parties will be intensified by having a more structured, transparent planning process. This will permit greater reliability for barge handling.


    • Commitment by the terminals to provide minimum handling capacity for container barges. Stricter planning (i.e. scheduling) agreements throughout the chain, supported by BTS (Barge Traffic System).
    • Centralised barge scheduling. The three large terminals (PSA, MPET and DP World) are carrying out a large-scale trial to deal with barge scheduling on a port-wide basis, which will simplify and streamline the entire scheduling process for all parties. This new, unique initiative will first be tested in a pilot project (from September onwards), and if the results are positive it will be continued thereafter.
    • Collaboration between the barge operators to streamline their scheduling (from June onwards).

    Consolidation of freight volumes will make it possible to have larger call sizes for the barges being handled on the shipping terminals. This is important in order to make the growth of the port more sustainable. Here too, there will be a trial period as of October. During this trial the minimum call size has been set at 30 containers per call. To help the barge industry make the transition to larger calls, the Flemish government and Antwerp Port Authority have introduced a temporary package of operational and financial subsidies which will gradually taper off.

    Digitisation and centralisation of data will permit more proactive planning and follow-up. NxtPort is taking the initiative in this area and will develop and introduce various new digital applications. The focus here will be on sharing information sooner so that all parties can make gains in efficiency.

    In addition to the above measures, various other peripheral factors for more efficient operation will be examined in the short and medium term. One example could be measures to deal with dock labour shortages. CEPA will make additional efforts to among other things reduce training times for dock workers. Another focus is to have dedicated barge capacity on the shipping terminals. Antwerp Gateway is to start a new construction project in the summer of 2018.

    In the meantime all parties have committed themselves to make their own organisations / companies ready in good time to make the planned changes. This will require personnel training, upgrades to IT systems and extensive internal communication between the organisations / companies concerned.

    Three regional info sessions will be organised in the near future to make stakeholders in the hinterland clearly aware of the measures and the coming changes.

2021 October 15

18:27 Sea Machines uses biofuel to power tug Nellie Bly on long-haul autonomous journey
18:07 Dublin Port Company to open €48m Dublin Inland Port
17:53 Danfoss Editron powering the first fast crew supply vessel able to compete with helicopter transfers
17:33 Tsawwassen First Nation and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority sign renewed Relationship Agreement
17:09 Sevmash completed manufacturing of sections for offshore ice-resistant fixed platform LSP "A"
16:40 Global Ports Holding positions Kalundborg as an alternative to Copenhagen
16:33 Duisburg Rail Terminal welcomed the one millionth unit since it started the operations in 2013
15:13 Klaveness Combination Carriers signs a Letter of Intent with Shipshave AS to implement its semi-autonomous hull cleaning solution across its fleet
14:31 Wärtsilä next generation navigation simulator to power the Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety in Singapore
14:09 Coral Consortium working on a water drone to regularly monitor water quality in the basins of the Port of Gdańsk
13:53 Port of San Diego adopts most ambitious maritime clean air strategy of its kind in California
13:22 LNGnews.RU supports 5th LNG Fleet, LNG Bunkering and Alternatives conference as its Media Partner
13:02 A.P. Moller - Maersk enters strategic partnership with Danish Crown on global end-to-end logistics
12:36 GTT is selected by Hyundai Heavy Industries to equip the tanks of two new LNG-fueled container vessels with its membrane containment technology and smart shipping solutions
11:47 Russian-Chinese joint naval exercise is underway in the Sea of Japan
11:23 Transneft Kozmino Port starts construction of maintenance site for servicing mariculture site
10:08 MABUX: Bunker prices may continue slight upward changes on Oct.15
10:02 Port of Long Beach has second-busiest September
09:56 Port of Oakland’s Danny Wan heads statewide port group
09:51 Rosneft sells 5% in Vostok Oil to a consortium of Vitol and MME
09:32 Crude oil prices rise driven by demand growth
09:19 Baltic Dry Index as of October 14

2021 October 14

18:05 MOL, SoftBank and e5 Lab start joint studies for next-generation maritime high-speed satellite communications
17:54 Glavgosexpertiza approves construction of tank for light oil products at IPP terminal in Novorossiysk
17:35 Sembo secures $12m investment from Stena Line
17:15 Jan De Nul signs T&I contract for Gode Wind 3 & Borkum Riffgrund 3
16:52 Singapore Maritime Institute to support next phase of maritime R&D activities with funding and partnerships
16:15 ABS and Kongsberg Digital join forces to power maritime digitalization and decarbonization
15:58 Petersburg Oil Terminal handled 6.9 million tonnes of oil products in 9M’21, down 1% YoY
15:41 Topsoe puts demonstration plant into operation for production of sustainable Methanol from biogas
15:25 MABUX: Bunker Weekly Outlook, Week 41, 2021
15:24 Scandlines prepares sister ferry M/V Berlin for installation of Norsepower Rotor Sail
15:04 AET completes its first ever LNG bunkering in the US
14:53 Gazprom and Russian Government sign agreement of intent on hydrogen energy
14:31 Solstad Offshore, Aker Solutions and DeepOcean create offshore renewables alliance
14:11 Maersk invests in Vertoro to develop green lignin marine fuels
13:59 Joint Sea 2021 Russian-Chinese naval exercise starts in Sea of Japan
13:34 ABB to turbocharge first ME-GA engines as MAN ES opens new route to sustainable sailing for gas carriers
13:10 BC Ferries' sixth Island Class ferry departs Romania bound for B.C.
13:01 Sea Terminal “Tuloma” obtains permit for construction of dry bulk cargo terminal in Murmansk
12:32 New NIC-place Data Lake maximizes value of business logistics data using customized Big Data analytics
12:10 Valaris Drillship achieves ABS Enhanced Electrical System Notation in world first
11:41 Nor-Shipping expects ‘fundamental shift’ in industry focus post COP26
11:05 Maersk Tankers uses vessels’ “digital twin” to slash emissions
10:34 7th Annual East Africa Transport & Infrastructure conference to be held on 15-16 November 2021 in Ethiopia
10:12 BTP Terminal in Brazil goes live remotely with CyberLogitec’s OPUS Terminal
09:53 MABUX: Still no firm trend on Global bunker market on Oct.14
09:30 Crude oil prices rise driven by OPEC output forecast
09:15 Baltic Dry Index as of October 13

2021 October 13

18:17 Portsmouth International Port sets course for shore power
17:58 Makarov Training Centre advances in the international SIMREC project
17:35 LUKOIL BoD recommends interim dividend amount
17:16 TechnipFMC awarded substantial long-term contract by Petrobras
16:59 First Sakhalin-2 carbon neutral/offset LNG cargo delivered to Japan
16:57 Swire Group joins Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping as strategic partner
16:17 Throughput of port Kavkaz in 9M’2021 fell by 14% Y-o-Y
15:46 Throughput of Murmansk Sea Fish Port in 9M’2021 rose by 11.4% YoY
15:23 Port of Troon welcomes the maiden call of the luxury cruise ship MS Island Sky
15:01 Throughput of port Riga (Latvia) in 9M’2021 dropped by 13.5%
14:23 Smart freight tracking system at the Port of Gothenburg goes live