Extra container capacity

Extra container capacity Antwerp (ECA) goes beyond building a dock or extending the port. With ECA, Port of Antwerp is opting for sustainable development and efficient use of the available space. Therefore, as a world port, we are guaranteeing the provisioning of our country and the prosperity of current and future generations.

Why extra container capacity in the port of Antwerp?  



The port of Antwerp is Belgium's largest economic engine. Container traffic plays a major part in this. The market share of container traffic in Antwerp grows year after year. Despite the automation of the container industry, containers continue to generate new employment.


The increasing use of containers for goods transport will continue. Furthermore, a ship in 2005 had an average capacity of 10,000 TEU. These days, we receive ships of over 20,000 TEU on a weekly basis. 


Sufficient container capacity for efficient provisioning

The port is an essential link in provisioning Belgium and much of Europe. Our port is also a great asset in European exports. Without extra container capacity, the port risks losing its world-port status in the future. In order to maintain this competitive position we are investing in more and better capacity.


Extra capacity is essential to win the confidence of current and future investors and to prevent valuable activities from drifting away to foreign countries. With ECA, we will ensure sustainable growth and the prosperity of current and future generations.

Sustainable expansion in the port


This expansion of the container capacity guarantees balanced and sustainable growth, taking into account people and the planet, the climate, the environment, industry and the economy. Port of Antwerp fully supports the European and Flemish climate ambitions and aims to be climate neutral by 2050.


Greening of container traffic

Port of Antwerp is a pioneer when it comes to making container traffic greener. We are investing in the electrification of terminals (e.g. shore power), the reduction of emissions, and also working on a modal shift


Moored ships use auxiliary motors to generate power. These are responsible for a large part of all nitric oxide (NOx) emissions in the port. By 2050, Port of Antwerp strives to achieve zero nitric oxide emissions caused by mooring emissions from ships throughout the port area. This will be achieved by providing shore power or other emission-reducing technology as standard features at the ECA terminals, and also by rolling this out in existing terminals. In addition, the new ECA terminals are more or less emission free. As a pioneer, we wish to set an example to other ports, and encourage them to join us in making container traffic greener and more efficient.

Smart approach to container transport

Being a logistics crossroads in Europe, Antwerp receives lots of passing goods traffic that is not connected to the port.


Thanks to ECA, we are organising the local goods traffic to achieve the modal split.


We are opting to increase the transport of containers via rail and inland navigation. In addition, Port of Antwerp is encouraging night-time transport by truck. By transporting containers at night, we ease the strain on the road network in the Antwerp district and tackle the problem of 'rat-running' (short cuts). Finally, we are targeting a reduction in emissions from trucks with our efforts in electrification and hydrogen projects. This is why we will launch a trial relating to night transport and electric transport in 2021.

Expansion in harmony with the environment

Further growth means taking greater responsibility for the environment. We are well aware of the impact caused by our activities on a wider scale, not only on both sides of the river Scheldt but also in the rest of Flanders. This impact is mostly positive, but can sometimes cause nuisance. For this reason we believe it is very important to communicate openly and transparently. We talk to those affected in order to find solutions, which we use to establish specific projects. 


We are dealing with noise pollution by installing noise buffers. By installing and maintaining nature areas and cycle paths we are increasing the quality of life for those around us


Furthermore, we are involved in a harmonious interaction between nature, agriculture and the port in Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe.

Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe

How do we create extra container capacity?


Several alternatives were considered in the search for the most suitable location for extra container capacity in the port of Antwerp. The Flemish government has approved the location and design of the preferred decision. This decision follows consultation with all relevant stakeholders.


The extra capacity will be created not only from expansion with a new tidal dock, but also by developing land within the existing port area. This means we can make optimal use of existing and future space. ECA will allow Port of Antwerp to gain additional container capacity of 7.2 million TEU:


By optimising existing docks, room will be made in the port for 3.5 million TEU extra containers, thanks to:


  • A new inlet basin, north of Zandvliet lock, beside the North Sea terminal (0.9 million TEU)
  • The extension along the Waasland Canal, to the west of the Kieldrecht lock (1.7 million TEU)
  • The extension along the Waasland Canal, to the east of the Kieldrecht lock (0.9 million TEU)


There will also be a new tidal dock. A container terminal will be added on only one side of this dock, and on the other side there will be a logistics zone. With this new dock we will increase the container capacity by 3.7 million TEU containers.

When will there be extra container capacity?


More information


Keen to know more about the complex ECA project? Go to the Department of Mobility and Public Works website

You can ask any questions about the port via info@portofantwerp.com.