Port of Antwerp signs deal with Chinese port

Summary

The Antwerp port authority has signed a co-operation agreement with one of China’s youngest ports that will see the two increase trade efficiency and explore the possibility of a rail link

Max steel

The Antwerp port authority has signed a co-operation agreement with the port of Caofeidian in China, as part of China’s drive to link its ports and terminals with major trading centres around the world. The agreement was signed in the Hertoginnedal castle in Brussels, with both Belgian and Chinese prime ministers present.

Caofeidian (pictured) is a young, fast-growing port, built partly on land reclaimed from the Bohai Bay, in northeast of the country. Of the 260 million tonnes of goods handled by the port last year, 36 million tonnes was in steel. Every year, Caofeidian trades around 500,000 to 700,000 tonnes of it with Antwerp, Europe’s main port for steel.

The agreement commits the two ports to examine the possibility of a rail link between Antwerp and Caofeidian, as well as improving the sea connection. Later this year, the authorities at Caofeidian will receive a training package created by the Apec Port Training Centre, the port of Antwerp's maritime training institute.

The co-operation is part of the Chinese government’s One Belt One Road programme, created in 2013 with the aim of improving the connections between China’s main ports and industrial cities and major trading centres in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The programme already includes a rail link that follows parts of the old Silk Route, as well as a maritime portion that links China to ports around the Indian Ocean.

Last month, the CEO of the Port Authority, Jacques Vandermeiren, took part in a debate at the One Belt One Road Forum in Beijing, which was attended by 1,500 people, including 29 heads of state and government.

Photo: Fanghong/Wikimedia

Port of Antwerp

The port of Antwerp is Europe’s second-largest port and one of the world’s most important ports for container traffic.
Going green - The port’s first-ever sustainability report won it the Award for Best Belgian Sustainability Report.
Size - The port takes up more space than the actual city of Antwerp.
Roots - Historians have found evidence for the port’s existence dating back to the 12th century.
154

barges entering the port daily

900

companies in the greater port area

184

tonnes of freight handled in 2012