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Published: 27 November 2009      

Antwerp freezes port dues and concession fees

A conditional cut of 10% in the breakbulk/conventional cargo sector has also been announced

In fact, says the port, most of the dues will be frozen at the 2008 level. Furthermore, a 10% reduction will be granted in the conventional/breakbulk cargo sector, "provided that employers and labour unions manage to make more efficient use of dock labour."

Antwerp remains the leading port in Europe for conventional/breakbulk cargo such as steel, fruit, paper and wood, but these types of freight are faced with a number of structural problems.

The port authority has linked the reduction in rates "to the condition that the labour unions and employers must make a serious contribution towards greater efficiency in loading and unloading such labour-intensive items, without compromising safety."

Port Alderman Marc Van Peel said: "Nobody can deny that the port of Antwerp has lost some trade in the past years due to the overly rigid work organisation in freight handling."

Port Authority CEO Eddy Bruyninckx added: "We expect to see clear signals from both sides of industry before 1 January, about their willingness to make significant improvements in the efficient use of dock labour."

The port authority does not reckon on any further linear discounts, but is open to bilateral talks with shipping companies. In the meantime, the fees charged to concession holders are also being frozen.

  • The port has signed a new co-operation agreement with the Port of Tanger-Med, with the focus on training. Some 300 Moroccan port employees have already received training at the port's APEC affiliate (Antwerp/Flanders Port Training Centre).



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  • Europe) Belgium) Antwerp
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