Port of Antwerp Taskforce confirms: Port 100% operationalChristian Fernsby ▼ | March 26, 2020
The first meeting of the Port of Antwerp Covid-19 Taskforce was held.
An essential national infrastructure Port of Antwerp
Topics: Port of Antwerp
The port remains 100% operational thanks to the daily efforts and commitment of all employees.
In addition the Taskforce defined various points for attention, and also set up a port monitor to survey the daily operation of the port with a view to additional measures.
The taskforce is multidisciplinary and cross-border.
Also the Dutch Common Nautical Management is represented because it controls access via the Scheldt.
The various players in the overall organisation of the port also participate, so as to obtain a full picture of port operations.
These include Port of Antwerp, Alfaport-Voka, ASV, Cepa, ESPO, Essenscia, Antwerp Fire Department, Antwerp Shipping Police, the agency for Maritime Services and Coast (MDK), Vlaamse Waterweg (waterway operator), Customs and Excise, the cabinet of Flemish minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
At the moment Port of Antwerp has not seen any decline in the freight volume.
However, it is expected that fewer ships will call at the port in the coming days and weeks because of the corona outbreak.
15 fewer large container carriers from Asia will call, corresponding to 115,000 TEU less freight being carried from and to China.
The logistics chain is functioning normally and is dealing well with peaks in market demand.
The demand for foodstuffs and healthy foods such as bananas has risen, which has led to a rise in imports of these products.
Here it is necessary to emphasise the importance of keeping Europe's borders open for all forms of freight transport.
Port of Antwerp will monitor the situation continuously, and will continue to react to the demands of logistics operators and terminals.
The Port of Antwerp Covid-19 Taskforce will meet weekly.
This frequency will be increased should it become necessary. ■