On 15 September a delegation of the Zeebrugge port authority and APZI (Association Port of Zeebrugge Interests) organised a presentation on the Belgian pavilion at the World Expo Shanghai in order to promote the coastal port.
The Zeebrugge participation entirely fits in the Asia strategy pursued by the port authority. Zeebrugge aims at reinforcing its role as gateway to the European markets for Asian shippers.
As a deepwater port Zeebrugge grows in the segment of the deepsea containers. The largest container carriers in the world, which are mainly deployed on the Europe Asia route, are increasingly important to Zeebrugge.
The Chinese market is of major importance to Zeebrugge. 50 per cent of the Zeebrugge deepsea containers are related to China.
In addition to Shanghai, the Zeebrugge delegation also visited the port of Ningbo, a major port of call on the sailing schedule of the various container services between Zeebrugge and Asia.
The Zeebrugge port authority also met with SIPG or Shanghai International Port Group. SIPG bought this year an interest of 25 % in the container terminal of APM Terminals at the Albert II dock in Zeebrugge. It constitutes the first foreign investment of the Chinese port, a primeur for Zeebrugge. The Chinese investment is to put Zeebrugge more prominently on the Asian map.
On 15 September the Zeebrugge office in Shanghai was officially opened. Since 2010 the port of Zeebrugge is represented here by Jan Vannieuwenburg and Danielle Liu. The port also has permanent representatives in India, Pune and Japan, Tokio.