Trade unions have opened a month of intermittent strike action by paralyzing the port of Antwerp and slowing train traffic through much of Belgium. Monday’s (24.11.) protest action targeted measures by the nation’s business-friendly government to cut into employees’ income, extend working time and restrict social services.
On their first of three Mondays of regional strikes, the unions targeted Antwerp, with Europe’s second biggest port, and made sure no ships could enter of leave the docks. Port workers have been particularly angered by measures to extend the start of pensions by two years.
Port worker Frank Verhulst complained it would force them to work until the age of 67. “But it is a very hard job here,” he said.
Labor action is to culminate in a nationwide strike on Dec. 15.
Source: Associated Press
Antwerp welcomes 1 billion dollar investment by ExxonMobil
ntwerp Port Authority is extremely pleased with the decision by the American oil giant ExxonMobil to invest more than 1 billion dollars in its refinery in the port of Antwerp. The investment demonstrates ExxonMobil’s confidence in the port of Antwerp and in the European industry, which in these challenging times is a very positive signal.
MSC transfers activities in port of Antwerp to Deurganck dock
The Port Authority board of directors gave the go-ahead for the move on Monday evening. The transfer is necessary in order to permit further expansion by MSC in Antwerp. The shipping company announced at the end of last year that it wished to have a new location below the locks, not only because its present site in the Delwaide dock had reached saturation point but also because of the increasing size of the ships being introduced. The Deurganck dock was the obvious choice, as it is already used by the other members of the P3 alliance of which MSC forms part, and furthermore the alliance plans to make even greater use of it in future.
With a volume of 4.5 million TEU in 2013, MSC is the port of Antwerp’s biggest container customer. However, the company’s Home Terminal in the Delwaide dock was already at full capacity in 2010, so no further growth in Antwerp has been possible since 2011. Indeed, MSC was forced to divert a large part of its growth to other ports in the Hamburg-Le Havre range, so that the level of activity in Antwerp remained static. Despite this, MSC and the other P3 partners confirmed their absolute confidence in Antwerp, so that the port saw its position as a leading western European container port further strengthened. Indeed, Antwerp is the only port in western Europe apart from Willemshaven to gain loops with the P3 network. But even without the P3 concept the move by MSC to a new, larger location would be essential, as MSC plans to use Antwerp as a base for its further development in the Benelux region.
Port of Antwerp develops system for onshore power in all Flemish ports
Antwerp Port Authority in collaboration with the Flemish government, other ports and waterway operators is developing a unified system for onshore power in all Flemish ports, the APA press release said. An onshore power platform has been set up for this, and a pilot project is being carried out in the port of Antwerp. Seven new onshore power connection bollards have been installed on quay 75 beside the Noordkasteel dock, with a clear and simple system for registration and payment. The Port Authority attaches great importance to this project as it permits an integrated approach to combating air pollution on a local scale.
Antwerp Port Authority acquires General Motors site
Antwerp Port Authority is excited to announce that it can now purchase the Opel site, the location of the former General Motors production plant in the Antwerp port area. The Port Authority plans to develop the entire 96-hectare site so as to attract manufacturing industry in the heart of this vast industrial, (petro)chemical, logistic and maritime complex
Both the size of the site and its location in the heart of Europe’s second-largest port make this opportunity unique. Such sites are invaluable because they make it possible to attract new industry and generate additional employment. In this particular case Antwerp Port Authority will focus on integrated development, as the size of the site and its location present a rare opportunity. With this in mind each project proposed for the site will be considered in terms of the added value that it can create for the region. The site located on the right bank of the Scheldt has excellent links with the hinterland thanks to direct connections to the road, rail and inland waterway networks. The port of Antwerp is also connected to the main European pipeline networks.
Antwerp Port Authority will therefore issue invitations as soon as possible for potential investors to submit expressions of interest and proposals for projects.
Antwerp’s Deurganck dock development attracts interest of MSC
Shipping company MSC has responded to Antwerp Port Authority’s invitation for expressions of interest for new opportunities in the Deurganck dock to be accessed via the huge Deurgancksluis lock project.
The €382m lock project, partly funded by the EU TEN-T Programme, is Antwerp’s response to the challenge of catering for anticipated increases in volume and size of ships using Waasland Port, on the left bank of the Scheldt. The area is accessible via the Kallo Lock (operational since 1979), which is now reaching the limits of its capacity. Ship operators and agents have stated for some years that waiting times have occasionally reached the limits of what is acceptable: hence the decision to build the second lock, wider, longer and deeper than the Kallo lock. The subsequent eventual two locks on the Scheldt’s left bank will compare to the six locks on the right bank at Antwerp. More at www.hellenicshipp...
Port of Antwerp sets new freight volume record in 2013
The port of Antwerp is expected to have handled a total freight volume of 190.6 million tonnes over the year as a whole. This represents an increase of 3.5% compared with 2012 when the volume came to 184.1 million tonnes, making 2013 a new record year for Antwerp. The previous record dates from 2008, the last year before the global financial crisis.
In the night of Nov 11 an organic product leaked from the cargo of a vessel docked at the MSC Home Terminal in the Delwaide Dock. 21 persons were injured, two of them seriously. The fire department was called to support the medical services to help transport the victims. The Red Cross coordinated the action. The leaking cargo, thought to be a cleaning product, was to be removed from the ship as soon as possible.
Antwerp port strengthens its position as a major container port
The Port of Antwerp is extremely pleased with the recent announcements made by the P3 Network, the alliance between the 3 largest container shipping companies Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM, in which it clearly opts for Antwerp as a European platform, the company said in its press release.
In recent months the alliance between the 3 has led to a centralization on a number of sailing areas, the results of which have proved to be very favorable for Antwerp. On the route from the Far East the Scheldt port gets an extra call and it goes from three to four of the total of eight calls that remain. Moreover, for one service Antwerp is also the first port of call, which is an extra boost that underlines its nautical accessibility. On the transatlantic route, the number of calls to Antwerp is retained. The ships deployed to Antwerp are mostly of the +13.000 TEU type.
“Such a strong representation in the P3 Network proves that the three largest container shipping companies in the world are confident of the strengths which our port has,” said Marc Van Peel, chairman of the Antwerp Port Authority.
Antwerp is a market leader in five of the six sailing areas. For some time now the port has been working on strengthening its Far East market share. The first ports of call in this sailing area are also highly prized because they provide the necessary import volumes. The fact that Antwerp now gets so many calls is extremely positive for its competitive position in Europe. “Antwerp is centrally located in Europe. Goods can not only be brought further inland once they are in port, they can be handled in various ways before efficiently being transported to their final destination in the European hinterland through an extensive network of connections”, explains Eddy Bruyninckx, CEO of the Port Authority. "These assets have been clearly understood. Add to this a private sector that exemplifies our reliability and can-do mentality and the conclusion is that Antwerp is a highly efficient link in any supply chain”, adds Bruyninckx.
The inland location of the port, once perhaps considered as a possible obstacle to the development of Antwerp, has become a major asset to the hinterland. Four years ago the first shipping company MSC sent a 14,000 TEU ship up the Scheldt. Such visits now occur weekly. Last week Emma Maersk, a 15,500 TEU ship, sailed to Antwerp without any problem. Yesterday (Saturday) Mary Maersk will go one better with 18,000 TEU. Everything is possible at the port of Antwerp. Source : PortNews