It is only thanks to the cooperation of and with various authorities and (professional) organisations that the port of Antwerp has been able to develop into what it is today. Thinks includes an efficient and safe (international) guidance of the ever-increasing shipping traffic, but also of the organisation, deployment and guidance of all those people who make sure every day that Antwerp is and remains an international port.

Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever


Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever is responsible for the land policy in the port area on the left bank of the Scheldt and the industrialisation policy within this port area. It is also responsible for defining the subregional policy for the further development and phasing of this port area.


De Maatschappij voor het Haven, Grond- en Industrialisatiebeleid van het Linkerscheldeoevergebied, of kortweg de Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever, has managed the land policy of the Waasland Port since 1982. The main activities are preparing land for construction, granting concessions to companies, expropriations and advising the authorities on the expansion of the port area. The Antwerp Port Authority is responsible for the maritime management and the operation of the port area on Left bank.


The port area on the Left Bank covers approximately 4500 hectares Approximately 1500 hectares has already been granted in concession to companies. Obviously this has resulted in many jobs. Towards the end of 2018, the Waasland port employed 20,562 people (FTE).


The shareholders of the Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever are the Antwerp Port Authority, the Intermunicipal Joint venture of the Land van Waas (Interwaas), the Antwerp Port Authority, the municipalities of Beveren and Zwijndrecht and the Flemish Region.




To guarantee the security and accessibility of the port of Antwerp, the Flemish, Belgian and international authorities work closely together. Flemish public services ensure smooth and safe shipping (traffic) to and from Antwerp. Federal services carry out all kinds of checks (e.g. on food safety, illegal trade, theft, etc.). Internationally, various bodies work together on the sustainable management of the Scheldt water. Below is an overview of the most important partners of the Port of Antwerp.


Maritime Access department


The Maritime Access department of the Flemish Mobility and Public Works Department manages the channels to the Flemish ports. For the port of Antwerp, good access to the Scheldt and Western Scheldt is vital. To improve access to the Port of Antwerp, the department deepened the Western Scheldt. The department is also responsible for the construction and maintenance of the basic infrastructure of the Flemish seaports.


Website Maritime access


Agency for Maritime Services and Coast


The Flemish Agency for Maritime Services and Coast (MDK) is responsible, among others, for the efficiency and safety of shipping traffic to and from the Flemish ports. The Agency makes available pilots to navigate sea-going vessels safely over the Western Scheldt. It also manages the Scheldt radar chain together with various Dutch authorities.


For this vessel guidance in the Antwerp port area, the Flemish agency for Maritime Services and Coast works closely with the Shipping Traffic Management and the Harbourmaster's Office of the Antwerp Port Authority.


Website Maritime Services and Coast


International Scheldt commission


The International Scheldt commission is an intergovernmental body with representations of the federal and regional authorities of Belgium, France and the Netherlands which is responsible for the sustainable and integral water management of the Scheldt river basin.


Website International Scheldt commission


Customs and Excise Administration


The General Customs and Excise Administration is part of the Belgian Federal Treasury. The department is responsible for the protection of society by making sure no goods are illegally imported into Belgium. In addition, it promotes international trade by managing the external borders and ensuring the security of the logistics chain.


Website Customs and Excise Administration


Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain


The Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) is a semi-public body that was established to monitor the safety of the food chain and the quality of food. It goes without saying that many of its activities take place in the Port of Antwerp.


Website FASFC


Shipping police


The Shipping police is a supporting department of the Federal police. In and around the Port of Antwerp, the shipping police is responsible for the security of the port sites, preventing illegal transport, prevention and combat of theft and the observance of traffic rules on the water.


In coastal areas, the Shipping police focuses more on people trafficking from and to the UK and checking cruise and ferry passengers for the possession of drugs.


Website Shipping police


Saniport (Port Health Authority)


Saniport is the sanitary police of international traffic and is part of the Federal public service National health, Safety of the Food chain and Environment. In pursuance of the International Health Regulations (2005) of the World Health Organisation, they perform the sanitation inspections of ships (and some flights) coming from risk areas.


Saniport seaports


Alfaport Antwerp


Alfaport is the platform of and for companies and industry associations from the port of Antwerp within Voka - Chamber of Commerce Antwerp-Waasland. Alfaport aspires to an accessible, facilitating, cost-competitive and sustainable Port of Antwerp with a view to a sustainable anchoring of employment and added value in the port.


Alfaport was created on 1 January 2014 as a result of the integration of Alfaport Antwerp, the federation of port-related and logistics companies in the port and the Antwerp-Wase Chamber of Commerce.


There are five industry associations:

  • KBRV (Royal Belgian Association of Shipowners), which represents all shipping companies based in Belgium.
  • ASL (Antwerp Shipping Federation), which groups the ship's agents and shipping company offices, as the representatives of foreign shipping companies.
  • ABAS (Antwerp Stevedores Association), the association represents stevedoring and freight handling companies. They load and unload vessels, among others.
  • VEA (Association for Forwarding, Logistics and Freight Interests in Antwerp), which represents all the transport organisers in Antwerp: forwarders, shipping agents, logistics service providers and distribution centres.
  • KVBG (Royal Association of Traffic flow Controllers), the members of this association are active not only in freight handling and storage but also in related logistics activities such as repackaging, labelling, palletisation and distribution



Voka - Chamber of Commerce Antwerp - Waasland

Markgravestraat 12

2000 Antwerpen

+32 3 232 22 19




Voka is a Flemish network of companies. It represents more than 17,000 companies in Flanders and Brussels, good for 65% of private employment and 66% of the added value in Flanders. Voka has nine entities divided by region. Voka – Antwerp-Waasland Chamber of Commerce and Industry is very important for the port companies in Antwerp.


Voka – Antwerp-Waasland Chamber of Commerce and Industry represents the interests of more than 3,000 companies in this area. With 23 percent of the added value in Flanders, Antwerp-Waasland is Flanders' fastest growing economic region. The entity wants to support business by lobbying, networking and offering specific services. Members are able to participate in events, activities, training and information sessions and use them.


At the request of a number of industrial (port) companies, Voka – Antwerp-Waasland Chamber of Commerce and Industry launched the Large-scale industry Platform in 2005 In this platform, members exchanged information about taxation, how to fill job vacancies and environmental regulations. The platform also launched the initiative to organise joint bus transport for its personnel.


Website Voka – Antwerp-Waasland Chamber of Commerce and Industry




To organise the work in the Port of Antwerp, the Centrale der Werkgevers aan de Haven van Antwerpen (Cepa) was established in 1929. It groups representatives of trading companies, shipping and freight handlers. Cepa represents the interests of the employers and negotiates on employment conditions. However, the organisation also organises the payment of dockworkers, their social security payments and the hiring of new blue-collar workers.


Eighty years later, the scope of its work is still somewhat comparable, although the organisation has of course been modernised and the number of services has been further expanded. Cepa still represents employers in negotiations about collective bargaining agreements, gives advice on the employment of dockworkers and intervenes in social disputes. Cepa is currently also responsible for the personnel and payroll administration of approximately 9,300 blue-collar workers.


Cepa is one of the five members of the federal Employer's association of Belgian ports. Subdivisions of Cepa include the Gemeenschappelijke Dienst voor Preventie en Bescherming, the Ocha training centre and the Sociale inrichting der werkgevers aan de haven van Antwerpen (Siwha).




The Antwerp port is not only an important link in the global economy, it is also an indispensable area in a cross-border ecological network. A large part of the Scheldt estuary lies in the Antwerp port area, which includes nature reserves protected by EU legislation (the so-called European Birds directive and Habitats directive).


To protect these valuable areas as well as possible, the Port Authority has worked closely with Natuurpunt since 2001. Natuurpunt is Belgium's largest nature conservation organisation. This non-governmental organisation's main goal is the protection of important habitats, species and landscapes, including those in the Antwerp port area. It does so by managing the areas, monitoring the flora and fauna and giving advice on the further management and filling the natural areas in the port.


The “De Antwerpse Haven Natuurlijker” (The Port of Antwerp more naturally) project outlines the development of an ecological infrastructure network in the Antwerp port area. A network of core areas, corridors and stepping stones is being created within the Antwerp port area, without hampering the growth and operation of the port itself. This includes habitats for the natterjack toad, a fish spawning lake, nesting opportunities for bank swallows and many other actions for different species.


Natuurpunt is able to rely on the expertise of many volunteers to achieve all this. But the support of the more than 90,000 members is also indispensable.


Website Natuurpunt