Thanks to the modern infrastructure, designed for the optimal handling of the newest and biggest roro and container vessels and the excellent road and rail connections, the deepsea port has currently become a polyvalent transport centre.
The seaport of Bruges is the most important continental roro port for unaccompanied freight traffic and the largest car port in the world. The port offers more than 20 daily roro services mainly to the UK but also to Scandinavia and Southern Europe.
The port of Zeebrugge has gradually grown into a medium-sized port in the Hamburg – Le Havre range as a result of the large expansion programme since 1985. The deepsea port has currently become a multi-purpose transport centre, thanks to the modern infrastructure, designed for optimal handling of the newest and biggest roro and container vessels and the excellent road and rail connections.
Cargo throughput amounted to 37.8 million tons in the port of Zeebrugge in 2016. Almost 75 % are unit loads (trailers or containers), which are being shipped by roro or container vessels.
Every year, Zeebrugge welcomes alsmost 10,000 vessels, 2.8 million new cars, 1.2 million trucks and more than one million TEU (20-feet containers) are handled. That is what makes Zeebrugge the most important continental roro port for unaccompanied freight and the largest car handling port in the world. Zeebrugge offers some 25 daily roro services, especially to the UK but also to Scandinavia and Southern Europe. Zeebrugge is also a vital hub for the worldwide car traffic.
The large offer of regular liner services by vessel, by rail or through inland navigation together with the strategic position convince more and more companies to organize their European distribution from the coastal port. Remarkable examples are the Toyota car terminal, the Tropicana bottling plant, the distribution centre of tyre producer Bridgestone and the Stora Enso paper terminal. A large number of companies organize the distribution and daily UK transports for their industrial customers in the Transportzone.
Zeebrugge also handles large volumes of breakbulk (mainly fruit and wood pulp) and bulk cargo (building materials, agrobulk, bunkering materials and molasses). The natural gas terminals of Fluxys, Gassco and Interconnector also make the port of vital importance for energy supply.
Because of the close vicinity of Bruges, Zeebrugge has also grown into an important passenger port, which welcomes approximately 1 million passengers on the daily ferry services to Hull or aboard a luxurious cruise vessel every year.
As fas as the future is concerned, the port focuses on attracting additional container traffic and the establishment of distribution centres. A new sealock (SHIP) and the optimization of maritime access and hinterland connections are also high on the agenda.