Port of Zeebrugge
The port of Bruges
Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is located in the northwest of the country....

Zeebrugge is a village on the coast of Belgium and a subdivision of Bruges, for which it is the modern port. Zeebrugge serves as both the international port of Bruges-Zeebrugge and a seafront resort with hotels, cafés, a marina and a beach.-Location:...

(in short: Port of Zeebrugge) is a large container
Containerization is a system of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers...

, bulk cargo
Bulk cargo
Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported unpackaged in large quantities. This cargo is usually dropped or poured, with a spout or shovel bucket, as a liquid or as a mass of relatively small solids , into a bulk carrier ship's hold, railroad car, or tanker truck/trailer/semi-trailer body...

, new vehicles and passenger ferry terminal
Container terminal
A container terminal is a facility where cargo containers are transshipped between different transport vehicles, for onward transportation. The transshipment may be between container ships and land vehicles, for example trains or trucks, in which case the terminal is described as a maritime...

 port in the municipality of Bruges
Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is located in the northwest of the country....

, Flanders
Flemish Region
The Flemish Region is one of the three official regions of the Kingdom of Belgium—alongside the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region. Colloquially, it is usually simply referred to as Flanders, of which it is the institutional iteration within the context of the Belgian political system...

, Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, handling over 50 million tonne
The tonne, known as the metric ton in the US , often put pleonastically as "metric tonne" to avoid confusion with ton, is a metric system unit of mass equal to 1000 kilograms. The tonne is not an International System of Units unit, but is accepted for use with the SI...

s of cargo annually.


In the last 20 years Zeebrugge has become a multifaceted port that handles a wide range of trades: unit loads (trailers and containers
Intermodal container
An intermodal container is a standardized reusable steel box used for the safe, efficient and secure storage and movement of materials and products within a global containerized intermodal freight transport system...

), new cars, conventional general cargo, 'high & heavy' cargoes, dry and liquid bulk cargoes and natural gas. From a purely transit port Zeebrugge has gradually evolved into a centre for European distribution.

The port has become a major European port since major development works were carried in the 1972 to 1985 period. Since then total tonnage has doubled. As of 2008, Bruges-Zeebrugge is one of the fastest growing ports between Le Havre
Port of Le Havre
The Port of Le Havre, Port Autonome du Havre, is the Port and port authority of the Normandy city of Le Havre, France.The port of Le Havre consists of a series of canal-like docks, the Canal de Tancarville and the Grand Canal du Havre, that connect Le Havre to the Seine, close to the Pont de...

 and Hamburg. It is Europe's leading RoRo
Roll-on/roll-off ships are vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo such as automobiles, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers or railroad cars that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels...

 port, handling 12.5 million mt in 2010, and the world's largest port for imports and exports of new vehicles, with over 1.6 million units handled in 2010 (24.5% less than in 2008 due to the economical crises). It is also Europe's largest terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG), receiving natural gas from the Troll gas field via the 814 km long Zeepipe
The Zeepipe is a natural gas transportation system to transport North Sea natural gas to the receiving terminal at Zeebrugge in Belgium.The total costs of Zeepipe system is around 24.2 billion NOK. It is owned by Gassled partners and operated by Gassco. The technical service provider is Statoil...

 under the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

. LNG is also delivered in specialized gas tankers from various origins, like Africa, Australia or the Middle East. Zeebrugge counts as one the most important ports in Europe for containerized cargo as well, handling over 2.5 million TEU
Twenty-foot equivalent unit
The twenty-foot equivalent unit is an inexact unit of cargo capacity often used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals...

s in 2010. In tonnage this comes down to 26.5 mt.

The port employs directly over 11,000 people and handles over 10,000 ship moorings annually. Together with the indirect employees, the port creates over 28,000 jobs.

The most important functions of the port are:
  • Intense RoRo traffic between the Continent, Great Britain, Scandinavia
    Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

     and Southern Europe;
  • European hub port for the automotive industry;
  • Container port with a good nautical accessibility for + 14,000 TEU ships;
  • Import of Liquefied Natural Gas and energy products;
  • Handling, storage and distribution of perishables and other agricultural products;
  • Handling of conventional general cargo and 'high & heavy' cargoes;
  • Passenger transport;
  • Organisation of the European distribution via an intricate network of hinterland connections.

The port of Bruges-Zeebrugge is managed by the Maatschappij van de Brugse Zeevaartinrichtingen N.V. (abbreviated: MBZ).

Advantages of the port

The port complex of Bruges-Zeebrugge offers several main assets, which will allow volumes to develop even further in the years to come, namely,
  • The favourable geographical position:
    • On the coast of the North Sea, the busiest sea in the world;
    • Central in relation to other North Sea ports;
    • Within a short distance of Great Britain;
    • Close to many major, densely populated and industrialized cities;
  • Good nautical accessibility with a deep water draught in the approaches and at the berths;
  • Good road and rail connections to all countries of Continental Europe;
  • Several daily liner services to Great Britain and to other ports in northern
    Northern Europe
    Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

     and southern Europe, Zeebrugge being the cross-roads for traffic in all directions;
  • A network of intercontinental and intra-European container services;
  • Modern port equipment, recently established, which meets all the expectations of modern shipping and handling techniques;
  • A large potential of skilled labour achieving high productivity.


Terminal Type Website

Outer port

PSA International
PSA International Pte Ltd, formerly Port of Singapore Authority is the second largest port operator in the world. The company's flagship operations are PSA Singapore Terminals, PSA HNN and PSA Marine...

paper terminal www.psa-zeebrugge.be
Zeebrugge International Port deepsea container terminal www.psa-zeebrugge.be
Container Handling Zeebrugge (CHZ) deepsea container terminal www.psa-zeebrugge.be
CdMC shortsea container terminal www.cobelfret.com
A.P. Moller-Maersk Group
A.P. Moller – Maersk Group , also known as Maersk , is a Danish business conglomerate. A.P. Moller – Maersk Group has activities in a variety of business sectors, primarily within the transportation and energy sectors. It is the largest container ship operator and supply vessel operator in the...

deepsea container terminal www.apmterminals.com
P&O Ferries
P&O Ferries
P&O Ferries is the current name for the amalgamation of a range of ferry services that operated from the United Kingdom to Ireland and Continental Europe...

roro terminal www.POferries.com
DFDS Seaways
DFDS Seaways
DFDS Seaways is a large Danish shipping company operating passenger and freight services across Northern Europe. Following the acquisition of Norfolkline in 2010, DFDS restructured its other shipping divisions into the previously passenger only operation of DFDS Seaways.-History:The company has...

roro terminal www.norfolkline.com
Fluxys is a Belgium-based company, mainly acting as a natural gas operator. In 2004, it employed around 850 people and its infrastructure comprised about 3,700 km of pipelines and a terminal in Zeebrugge, Belgium...

 - LNG Terminal
terminal for liquefied natural gas www.fluxys.com
Sea-Ro Terminal
Brittaniadok, Hermeskaai, Minervaplein
roro terminal www.searo.be
Sea-Ro Terminal
Zweedse Kaai
roro terminal www.searo.be
Euroservices NV terminal for the purging of gas-carriers www.purging-euroservices.be

Inner port Zeebrugge

ICO Terminals
Northern Inlet dock
roro terminal for new cars and breakbulk www.icoterminals.com
ICO Terminals
roro terminal for new cars www.icoterminals.com
Sea-Invest, Belgian New Fruit Wharf terminal for general cargo and fruit www.sea-invest.be
Sea-Invest, Flanders Cold Center - Tropicana terminal for general cargo packing installation for fruit juices www.sea-invest.be
Tate & Lyle
Tate & Lyle
Tate & Lyle plc is a British-based multinational agribusiness. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index as of 20 June 2011...

terminal for molasses
Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets into sugar. The word molasses comes from the Portuguese word melaço, which ultimately comes from mel, the Latin word for "honey". The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet,...

Zeebrugse Visveiling fish auction www.zv.be
Zeebrugge Food Logistics deepfreeze warehouse www.zfl.be
Hanson plc
Hanson plc is a British based international building materials company, headquartered in Maidenhead. Traded on the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index for many years, the company was acquired by a division of German rival Heidelberg Cement in August 2007.-History:Hanson...

sand and gravel terminal www.heidelbergcement.com
Borlix terminal for agricultural products www.borlix.be
Decloedt Dredging maintenance and storage facility www.decloedt.be
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics is a privately owned Norwegian/Swedish shipping company, established in 1999 and co-owned by the two shipping companies Wallenius Lines and Wilh. Wilhelmsen....

roro terminal for new cars www.2wglobal.com
Sea-Ro Terminal Canadakaai roro terminal for new cars www.searo.be
Fluxys - peak shaving installation terminal for storage of liquefied natural gas www.fluxys.com
Gassco is a Norwegian state owned company that operates of natural gas pipes transporting annually of 88.5 billion cubic meter of natural gas from the Norwegian continental shelf to Continental Europe and the United Kingdom....

terminal for the gas pipeline "Zeepipe" from Norway www.gassco.no
Toyota  dedicated autoterminal www.toyota.be
CdMZ roro terminal for new cars www.cobelfret.com
Seabridge/Efico terminal for storage and distribution of green coffee www.seabridge.eu
The is a multinational rubber conglomerate founded in 1931 by in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan. The name Bridgestone comes from a calque translation and transposition of ishibashi, meaning "stone bridge" in Japanese....

terminal for storage of tyres www.bridgestone.be
Brit European Transport international transport, storage and distribution of floor coverings www.bet.be
Progeco container depot at Jozef Verschaeveweg www.progeco.fr

Transportzone Zeebrugge
Interconnector terminal for gas pipeline "Interconnector
The Interconnector is a natural gas pipeline between the United Kingdom and continental Europe. It crosses the North Sea between Bacton Gas Terminal in England and Zeebrugge in Belgium. Construction of the pipeline was completed in 1998. It provides bi-directional transport capability to...

" from Bacton
Bacton, Norfolk
Bacton is a village and civil parish in Norfolk, England. It is on the Norfolk coast, some 20 km south-east of Cromer, 40 km north-west of Great Yarmouth and 30 km north of Norwich. Besides the village of Bacton, the parish includes the nearby settlements of Bacton Green, Broomholm,...

European Container Services ECS intermodal transport and logistics www.ecs.be
2XL intermodal transport and logistics www.2xl.be
Middlegate Europe intermodal transport and logistics www.middlegate.be
Huktra intermodal transport of tank containers www.huktra.com
North Sea Express international transport www.nse-transport.be
Britlink international transport www.britlink.be

Inner port Bruges

Nieuwpoortse Handelsmaatschappij sand and gravel terminal www.nhm.be
Alzagri sand and gravel terminal www.alzagri.be
Hanson sand and gravel terminal www.heidelbergcement.com
Seaport Shipping & Trading terminal for general cargo, project cargo and bulk cargo www.seaportshipping.be
Minne Port Services terminal for general cargo, project cargo and bulk cargo www.minne.be
Beveco peat terminal www.beveco.be
Denolf Recycling recycling terminal www.denolf-recycling.be
Flanders Ship Repair / Longueville ship repair www.fsr.be
Marpos waste treatment www.marpos.info
Tomar Kolen coal terminal www.kolentomar.com
ABN Transport exceptional transport www.abntransport.be
Solid timber terminal www.solidnv.com


Historical events

  • 1866 Mr August de Maere d'Aertrijcke, a Ghent
    Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

    An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council member chosen by the elected members themselves rather than by popular vote, or a council...

     describes the project of connecting his town with the sea in a public conference. He is known as the father of the Zeebrugge port.
  • 1894 Belgian parliament votes the law approving the construction of Port of Heyst
  • The port was inaugurated on July 23, 1907 by King Leopold II
    Leopold II of Belgium
    Leopold II was the second king of the Belgians. Born in Brussels the second son of Leopold I and Louise-Marie of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the throne on 17 December 1865 and remained king until his death.Leopold is chiefly remembered as the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free...

    , arriving by sea.
  • On 23 April 1918, the port was the target of a famous raid, the Zeebrugge Raid
    Zeebrugge Raid
    The Zeebrugge Raid, which took place on 23 April 1918, was an attempt by the British Royal Navy to neutralize the key Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge...

    , by the Royal Navy
    Royal Navy
    The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

     and Royal Marines
    Royal Marines
    The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

    . This was an attempt to block access to and from the port by intentionally sinking ships to block the canal entrance, thus preventing its use by German ships and Submarines. Eight participants in the raid were awarded the Victoria Cross
    Victoria Cross
    The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

  • On 6 March 1987, the ferry Herald of Free Enterprise (owned by Townsend-Thoresen) was just outside the port when it took on water due to the bow doors remaining open, became unstable and capsized, killing 189 passengers.

External links

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