Antwerp port strengthens its position
as a major container port

18 Oct 2013

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.

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. Tomorrow Mary Maersk will go one better with 18,000 TEU. Everything is possible at the port of Antwerp.

Antwerp Port Authority, press release