Coronavirus - No reason to panic

Coronavirus - No reason to panic

Although several European countries have announced their first coronavirus cases, there is no reason to panic. So far no cases of the coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, have been reported in the Port of Antwerp, and so normal operation of the port is not impacted as yet.

Apart from the standard procedures, no additional measures are advised. Port of Antwerp constantly follows the recommendations of the WHO, EU, Federal Department of Health (Saniport) and Federal Department of Mobility and will keep you informed of any changes in these.

All incoming ships must present a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH), which the master must submit 24 hours before entering the port, stating whether there are any actual or suspected cases of illness on board together with a list of the last ten ports. The ship is checked for this by Saniport. If there are any suspicions, the ship may be obliged to remain off the coast and a doctor may go on board. The ship will not get a pilot and will not be permitted to enter port.

Read more about Covid-19 on the website of the Federal Department of Health.

Economic impact on freight transport

As a result of the Coronavirus, there are currently around 20% fewer sailings in China. Worldwide, it is expected that it will lead to a 1% reduction in container transport throughout 2020.

In the port of Antwerp, based on preliminary forecasts, it is estimated that a month of traffic to and from China will be lost as a result of the corona crisis. This corresponds to 115,000 containers, or 7% container traffic to and from China. China is the second trading partner for Antwerp after the US. Last year, container volumes from Antwerp to China grew by 16% to 1.39 million 20 foot containers (TEU).

About Port of Antwerp

As Europe's second-largest port, the Port of Antwerp is a major lifeline for the Belgian economy: more than 300 line services to over 800 destinations ensure global connectivity. The Port of Antwerp annually handles around 235 million tonnes of international maritime freight, and is home to Europe's largest integrated chemical cluster. The Port of Antwerp accounts, directly and indirectly, for a total of around 143,000 jobs and more than €20 billion added value.  

True to its mission 'a home port vital for a sustainable future’, Antwerp Port Authority aims to flexibly respond to a rapidly evolving maritime market, allowing the port to continue playing its role as a leading world port. The emphasis in this respect is on cooperation, adaptability, a strong focus on innovation and digitisation, and on sustainable added value, as well as on responsibility towards society. 

Antwerp Port Authority is a limited liability company of public law, with the City of Antwerp as sole shareholder. It employs over 1,500 people. Port alderman Annick De Ridder is chairman of the Board of Directors and Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the day-to-day management. www.portofantwerp.com  

The telephone number +32 492 15 41 39 is only for press inquiries. For other questions you can mail to communicatie@portofantwerp.com

Port of Antwerp
Havenhuis
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp
Belgium