Zeebrugge port sees 12.5% growth in first half of year


The anticipation of a 31 March Brexit deadline saw cargo volumes jump at Flanders’ coast in the first quarter of 2019

Deep sea services

The port of Zeebrugge saw a total 12.5% growth in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2018. It handled 12,883,578 tonnes of cargo volume from January to June.

The total growth is due to a jump of 17.2% in the first quarter in anticipation of the 29 March Brexit deadline. UK markets were supplied in anticipation of the date. In the second quarter, the cargo volume decreased on last year.

Roll on/roll-off cargo, such as cars and trucks, to southern Europe increased substantially because of new services and economies of scale. Cars alone were up by nearly 5% to more than 1,527,800 cars over the six months.

While container traffic was down by 2.2% to 7,548,076 tonnes over the period, volume jumped in June by 9.85% because of new deep sea services and container feeder services. Further growth in container traffic is expected in the second semester of 2019.

A total of 71 cruise ships moored in Zeebrugge from January to June, compared to 59 in the same period of 2018, equalling 337,559 cruise passengers.

Photo courtesy port of Zeebrugge

Port of Zeebrugge

The port of Zeebrugge is a relatively young seaport. With many car manufacturers using the port as a distribution turntable, it’s a market leader in north-western Europe in roll-on roll-off traffic of new cars.
Cargo - The port primarily handles unit loads (containers, new cars and trailers) as well as more conventional cargo (fruit, wood pulp).
Accessibility - The port connects to the inland waterway network through the Boudewijnkanaal and the Ghent-Bruges-Ostend waterway.
Monster cruise - The largest cruise ship to ever dock at a Flemish port was the 15-deck Independence of the Seas. It came to Zeebrugge in 2013.
1 985

major port expansion works

28 000

direct and indirect port jobs

695 000

tonnes of freight handled annually