Coronavirus - Port of Antwerp remains open

Coronavirus - Port of Antwerp remains open

Port of Antwerp assures continuity because it plays a crucial role in supplying Belgium and a large part of Europe.

Port of Antwerp confirms that the entire port is and will remain operational during this difficult period. Under the terms of the Ministerial Decree concerning measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus, the port is designated as "essential national infrastructure." As such, logistics chains must remain assured and the nation kept supplied.

  • Logistics chains will remain assured and the nation kept supplied
  • Companies in the port will remain operational, with support from a special taskforce
  • Working from home is encouraged as much as possible for those employees who can

Port of Antwerp is an essential hub for keeping Belgium and a large part of Europe supplied.  Essential goods such as foodstuffs, fuel and other supplies and raw materials that are necessary to keep crucial and less crucial industries operational will continue to be carried via our ports in the coming weeks and months. Port of Antwerp emphasises that with the help of its employees, the port community is doing everything necessary to maintain the supply chains and so to keep Belgium and the rest of Europe supplied.

A multidisciplinary, cross-border taskforce has been set up to ensure correct functioning of the port, and to assess whether additional measures are needed and keep all stakeholders in the port informed of these.

In the meantime the Federal Government has decided that all employees must be encouraged to work from home wherever possible, to the extent that their job does not absolutely require them to be on the spot. We therefore ask all those employees concerned to comply with this measure and to work from home as much as they can.

And for those workers whose job does require them to be on the spot, additional measures are being taken to promote "social distancing." In particular we ask our employees to keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres apart, as much as possible. In addition all employees have been given clear instructions to maintain good hand hygiene and to stay at home and consult a doctor at the least sign of illness.

Commercial premises and shops in the port area will remain closed until further notice, as in the rest of the country. Essential infrastructure such as filling stations will however remain open. Fuel suppliers will also continue to operate and will keep the filling stations supplied. In this way, the logistics chains for goods moving to and from the port will remain assured.

Finally, Port of Antwerp calls upon all employees in the port area to scrupulously comply with all the required measures: these are exceptional circumstances that demand exceptional measures. Port of Antwerp also wishes to thank all those who are keeping our port operational during these difficult days. Together we will help our country to overcome this crisis.

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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 231 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 1.600 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.  

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

Port of Antwerp
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp