As a result of the large-scale development of Zeebrugge as a deepsea port in the seventies and eighties, the port consists of 3 major parts :
The outer port has been constructed on land reclaimed from the sea and is protected by two breakwaters having each a length of more than 4 kilometers. Because of the direct access from the sea and the substantial waterdepth the outer port is appropriate for the fast roll-on/roll-off and container traffic. LNG vessels also moor in the outer port. Vessels, berthed in the outer port, do not pass through the locks.
Via the Pierre Vandamme lock (1985) and the Visart lock (1905) vessels sail towards the inner port. The inner port houses two large docks, the Northern Inlet dock and the Southern Canal dock. Around these docks logistic centres are located for the handling, storage and distribution of either new cars, breakbulk cargoes or food products such as vegetables, fruit, fruit juices, fish, meat and coffee. Many of these cargoes receive added value in Zeebrugge .
Via the Baudouin canal ships sail to the port of Bruges. In this port zone terminal activity is mainly focused on bulk and conventional cargoes.
The port of Zeebrugge is divided into 9 zones. Zones 1,2,6 and 7 constitute the outer port. Zones 3,4 and 5 constitute the inner port. Zone 9 refers to the Baudouin canal (Bruges-Zeebrugge) and the inland port of Bruges. The first figure of the quay number refers to the zone.