Investing in port mobility

Wednesday 20 12 2017

This year The Antwerp Port Authority has given an extra push to keep transport moving to and from the port as smoothly and efficiently as possible for goods and for people.

Among other things a Barge Action Plan was unveiled last month, the Port Authority has appointed a mobility manager, and dialogue sessions have been organised with port companies to come up with ideas for improving mobility both for employees and for freight. Then in December the Port Authority organised an Intermodal Event at which seven projects were announced that will receive temporary financial support to get them started, with the aim of further improving mobility in the port.

A quarter million fewer trucks on the road

At the beginning of this year the Port Authority issued a Request for Proposals for projects aimed at making port traffic smoother and more efficient. The Port Authority finally invested 1.4 million euros in seven projects that were selected. Altogether these projects will take 250,000 trucks off the road annually.

Tom Verlinden, mobility manager: “At this Intermodal Event we once more emphasised that the Port Authority is extremely well placed to help solve the problem of mobility. We don't want to be seen as part of the problem, since transport in and around Antwerp is only partly due to the port activities. On the other hand we want to help find a solution."







The seven projects are aimed at achieving a modal shift along with various measures to raise efficiency, including:

  • • Sending more goods by barge, with a reefer platform in Wielsbeke, hybrid barges plying between South Netherlands and Antwerp, and more efficient barge transport on the Brussels-Scheldt canal between northern France and Antwerp,
  • • Sending more shipping containers by rail, by offering new rail products to Stuttgart, Bratislava and Liège,
  • • Reducing the number of empty trips by trucks.


Creating lasting awareness

“Also at the Intermodal Event we thanked everyone for their efforts at taking more freight off the road and sending it by rail and barge instead," Tom Verlinden continues. "We further emphasised that it will take sustained efforts by all participants, to keep thinking about alternatives. The Port Authority itself will devote maximum efforts to rail and barge. For example we organise workshops for players in these two sectors. This has led to an Action Plan for barge transport in which we will seek to achieve a high degree of digitisation, improved planning and consolidation of freight flows. As regards rail, there is still plenty of room for growth, and here we will concentrate on simplifying the 'last mile'."













Mobility projects for passenger transport

Tom Verlinden hopes to roll out four projects next year that will encourage employees to leave their car at home for travel to and from work."Specifically, we're going to introduce a 'bike bus' in the early part of next year between the Tijsmans tunnel and the Liefkenshoek tunnel, which will make cycling between the Right and Left banks of the Scheldt much more attractive. We will also improve some of the worst intersections on the network of cycle tracks. Further, we will look at how the route of the Waterbus can be extended, and we are examining the possibilities for synergy between the existing collective bus services operated by companies in the port. And finally, the last mile is also important for passenger transport. We are therefore examining the possibilities of a collective cycling system combined with public transport."