Expanded Chinese investment in the Port of Zeebrugge
The Port of Zeebrugge (Bruges) and China Shipping Terminal signed a Memorandum of Understanding with APM Terminals, stating the intention of purchasing a 24% share of APM Terminals Zeebrugge.
This comes on top of an investment of 25% in 2010 by the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG). “We are very proud that China Shipping Terminal demonstrates so much confidence in our operations” said APM Terminals Zeebrugge Managing Director, Mark Geilenkirchen. The Port of Zeebrugge is the 5th–busiest in the North Europe port range, with approximately 2.2 million TEUs handled in 2012, and is situated at the delta of the Rhine, Scheldt and Meuse Rivers.
Zeebrugge, gateway to Europe
Zeebrugge is a prominent port in Central Europe which supplies annually more than 50 million tons of goods. Almost all products that the consumer finds in the stores, transit through this port. During the last decade Zeebrugge has evolved into an important European gateway, a logistic platform to serve the European markets.
Zeebrugge has developed into a versatile port. The port not only focalizes on European roll-on/roll-off traffics. Also intercontinental (container) traffics, container feeder traffics, conventional cargoes, liquefied natural gas, cruises and last but not least the traffic of new cars constitute core businesses. In the automotive sector Zeebrugge is the second largest car handling port in the world.
The unit loads, i.e. roro and containers, account for three quarters of the total cargo throughput.
Zeebrugge is a deepsea port and guarantees sufficient water depth in the access channel to the outer port and along the quays, allowing to handle at any time the largest container carriers in the world. Thanks to this competitive trump card Zeebrugge figures on the sailing schedules of the largest shipping companies. In addition, some renowned container operators have invested substantially in port infrastructure in Zeebrugge. Every day container liner services link up Zeebrugge with the Chinese markets: Ningbo, Yantian, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Qingdao, Xing Yang. Xiamen, Shekou are called at fixed weekly.
More than 30 % of all deep sea container trade has a Chinese origin or destination. Shanghai International Port Group, China Merchant and China Shipping Container line have important investments in the port of Zeebrugge.
The wide range of intra-European and intercontinental services and the excellent hinterland connections turn Zeebrugge into the exquisite place for companies to organize their European or worldwide distribution from the coastal port. A large number of companies have already invested in logistic centres, where they add value to the cargo prior to distribution in Europe.