Most important waterway in Flanders to open its gates on Sunday as of 2 January

Monday 16 12 2019

From the economic point of view the Albert canal is the most important waterway in Flanders and a crucial hinterland connection for the port of Antwerp, serving the Kempen, Limburg and Liège regions. Some 40 million tonnes of freight is carried annually by barge on this canal, equivalent to some 2 million trucks.

The strong growth in container barge transport and the 24/7 economy along the canal have led to a large demand for lock operation on Sundays and public holidays over the past year. 

Based on a stakeholder survey and an accompanying analysis, the board of directors of the waterway operator, De Vlaamse Waterweg nv, has decided that the locks on the Albert canal will operate 24/7 as of 2 January without any extra charge. At the same time a decision was also taken to no longer charge for Sunday opening for locks elsewhere on the Flemish waterway network.

Port of Antwerp has for many years now promoted barge transport as an efficient, sustainable alternative to road transport and has taken numerous initiatives in collaboration with the barge industry to make this mode more attractive. The expanded service on this crucial water route will offer companies the necessary flexibility to carry their goods by barge on any day of the week.