Transport from and to the port

The Antwerp port has excellent infrastructure for all types of transports and goods. The Port of Antwerp is closest to the centre of Europe, making transport to consumers easier, more sustainable, more efficient and therefore cheaper.

Over sea

Maritime transport is the foundation of the Port of Antwerp's success. Via the Scheldt, seas and oceans, vessels travel between Antwerp and the farthest corners of the world. Increasingly bigger sea-going vessels not only bring goods to Antwerp, but they also take products on board again to the next faraway destination. Because the Port of Antwerp is so close to the heart of Europe, vessels are able to bring their goods very close to their customers.

By road

Cargo that fits in one container or lorry is easily transported to the next destination by road. This road transport is necessary, when a destination cannot be reached by barge or freight train. The Port of Antwerp is literally surrounded by motorways and is therefore easily accessible. The motorways lead directly to neighbouring countries and possibly further destinations. Because Antwerp is about 80 kilometres inland, the distances for road transport are not as big, there is less environmental pollution and less chance of traffic jams.


The Port of Antwerp is not only connected with the Scheldt, it can also transport goods along, for instance, the Albert canal, the Scheldt-Rhine connection and the Scheldt-Seine connection. Barges are able to transport large quantities of goods at the same time. All your shopping from Colruyt, for instance, is taken to a central warehouse in Brussels by barge. Goods can also be transported to terminals further inland for processing, such as in Liège or Grobbendonk. Via a big network of rivers and canals, barges can also go to destinations outside Belgium, including the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France.

By rail

The Antwerp port area is practically in the centre of a big railway network running through Europe. This rail network has destinations varying from Spain to Norway and from Greece to Poland. Every week trains go to 70 destinations in 19 countries! All terminals in the Port of Antwerp are connected to the railway network. Freight trains not only transport containers, but also bulk goods such as coal, sand and chemicals.

By pipeline

Although you can't see it, many millions of tonnes are transported from and to Antwerp. This could be petroleum, fuel oil, petrol and gas. The best known pipeline to the Antwerp port area is the Rotterdam Antwerp Pipeline. More than 30 million tonnes of petroleum goes from Rotterdam to Antwerp through this 102 kilometre pipeline. If it were not for this pipeline, 1,100 big tank lorries would have to ferry between the two cities night and day. Another example is the kerosene that is transported from Antwerp to Brussels Airport.

Modal split

How the goods are transported between the port and the hinterland is known as the ‘modal split’. The percentages in the breakdown indicate how many goods are transported for each method of transport. In 2010, the goods from and to Antwerp were transported as follows:


Barges  37%
Road transport  47%
Pipeline  5%
Rail transport  11%