COSCO SHIPPING PORTS’ AMBITION IS A STRONG SIGNAL FOR ZEEBRUGGE
APM Terminals and Hong Kong-based COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited (“COSCO SHIPPING Ports”), a subsidiary of China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited (“COSCO SHIPPING”), have reached an agreement to acquire 100% of APM Terminals Zeebrugge’s shares.
COSCO aspired to set up a central European hub. The group wanted to invest in a port with sufficient capacity, a good maritime access, a high productivity and a beneficial location toward the markets. Zeebrugge fulfilled all of these terms.
COSCO is a partner in the Ocean Alliance, together with CMA CGM, Evergreen and OOCL. The latter was recently purchased by COSCO.
“COSCO Shipping Ports’ ambition to invest in our port is a strong signal for Zeebrugge. The COSCO Group takes control of the APM Terminal, a transfer of shares from one international group to another. The link between COSCO Shipping Ports and COSCO Shipping Lines is definitely an opportunity to increase the container traffic in Zeebrugge. COSCO Shipping Ports confirms to have strong commercial support for this operation from the liner company.” Joachim Coens, CEO Port of Zeebrugge
ZESPRI SENDS RECORD KIWIFRUIT SHIPMENT TO ZEEBRUGGE
On 28 August the ms Seatrade Blue, one of Seatrade’s Colour-class containerships, delivered a record shipment of Zespri kiwifruit from New Zealand to Zeebrugge.
The reefer vessel carried 10,060 pallets in refrigerated containers, which constitutes a record shipment. Traditional reefer ships carry around 5,000 pallets.
Out of this shipment of around 80 million pieces of kiwifruit, the SunGold kiwi accounts for 40 per cent, with green kiwifruit making up the remainder. The kiwifruit is destined for central and northern European markets.
NEW A11 MOTORWAY INAUGURATED
On Saturday the 26th of August, the A11 motorway was officially inaugurated. The A11 construction was one of the largest road infrastructure works in Flanders. This missing link, a 12 kilometer long connection between the N31 in Bruges and the N49 in Knokke, will make a fast connection between two important arterial roads.
The port of Zeebrugge is glad this infrastructural realization has reached the last phase. Freight traffic will reach the hinterland in a much more efficient way. This is a crucial advantage for the further development of the port. Nearly 70 percent of port traffic goes by road and the smallest time gain makes a great difference.
The A11 will strengthen the competition position of the port. Clients react to any difference in speed, since this inevitably also means a difference in costs. Quicker transport is beneficial to all port users.
The new motorway will also improve the livability for the people in the region. The missing link will divide two traffic flows, the local traffic and the freight traffic, which will help keep heavy traffic away from living zones. This is also of great importance.
PORT OF ZEEBRUGGE AND APZI ZEEBRUGGE DEVELOP NEW DATA PLATFORM RX/SEAPORT
APZI (Association of Port of Zeebrugge Interests) and Port of Zeebrugge have joined forces to develop a new innovative data platform “Rx/Seaport”.
Representatives of the many sectors in the Zeebrugge port community gathered at the Port House De Caese in Bruges on the 23rd of August. Four workshops, each with a specific theme, were organized to map the possibilities and benefits of a central data platform. Experts from Ernst & Young, Deloitte, PwC and Everis were also present to guide these workshops.
APZI chairman Marc Adriansens looks forward to the new platform: “Working together to develop a new digital data platform is of great importance for the whole port community. Using the available data in a smart and efficient way will make it possible to merge the logistic processes of port players, to the benefit of all.”
CEO Port of Zeebrugge Joachim Coens adds: “Data is an important resource for the future. The port community needs to take the necessary steps to be ahead of the developments. Cooperation between all parties will lead to economy of scale and efficiency gains.”
CONSTRUCTION NEW JETTY AND RENOVATION OF EXISTING JETTIES IN BRITTANIA DOCK ZEEBRUGGE
Construction works for a new jetty and the renovation of two existing jetties started this July at the Brittania dock in Zeebrugge’s outer port. The port authority appointed Artes Group to the construction works. With these infrastructural improvements, the port authority meets C.Ro Ports' expansion strategy.
The new jetties are to guarantee that CLdN’s newest vessels can be handled in Zeebrugge in the future. CLdN launched a business strategy in 2015 which included an expansion of the fleet. So far, 6 new vessels are under construction and 4 options have been taken.
Two of these new vessels will measure 235 meters in length and will be the largest shortsea roro vessels in the world. The first ship is to be delivered at the end of 2017 and it will deployed between Zeebrugge and the United Kingdom.
"The construction works in the Brittania Dock are the result of the talks between the port authority and C.RO Ports/CLdN about their ambition to expand the activities in Zeebrugge and the expansion of the fleet. We wanted to meet C.RO Ports’ ambitions. The conclusions of these talks confirmed Zeebrugge’s role in the CLdN network and the ongoing growth in Zeebrugge as a roro hub. - Joachim Coens, CEO Port of Zeebrugge"
C.RO Ports signed an extra concession agreement with the port authority for a terminal at the northern side of the Albert II dock last year. New CLdN vessels of 211 meters will moor at that terminal in the future.
The construction works in the Brittania dock will be finished by the end of the summer.
SHIP-TO-SHIP LNG BUNKERING SERVICE STARTED IN THE PORT OF ZEEBRUGGE
The bunkering vessel ENGIE Zeebrugge performed in the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium, its first deliveries of LNG (liquefied natural gas) as a marine fuel to M/V AUTO ECO and M/V AUTO ENERGY, the two new gas-propelled pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs) of UECC. The LNG bunkering operations were conducted simultaneously while cargo operations for PCTCs were taking place.
ENGIE Zeebrugge, which is the world’s first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel, arrived in Zeebrugge at the beginning of April after delivery from Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd in Busan, South Korea, and a 38-day maiden voyage. She is now executing a weekly service to the PCTCs of UECC and is the world’s first LNG bunkering vessel to perform regular ship-to-ship bunkering services. ENGIE Zeebrugge loads LNG at Fluxys’ LNG terminal which recently commissioned its second jetty specifically designed for also receiving very small LNG carriers.
ENGIE Zeebrugge is jointly owned by ENGIE, Mitsubishi Corporation, NYK Line, and Fluxys. With an LNG capacity of 5,000 m3, she will service all types of shipping customers in Northern Europe from her home port of Zeebrugge, under the brand Gas4Sea .
This commercial brand was launched in September 2016 by ENGIE, Mitsubishi Corporation, and NYK Line to promote and develop the use of LNG as a sustainable alternative to conventional oil-based marine fuels.
The first ship-to-ship bunkering operations are a key milestone in the development of the nascent LNG bunkering market, which needs the collaboration of many stakeholders to gain a foothold: industrial companies, manufacturers, regulatory bodies, port authorities, and shipping companies. The joint efforts of the companies and authorities involved seek to curb carbon and health impacting emissions in shipping and come in support of the European alternative fuels strategy for sustainable mobility.
PORT OF ZEEBRUGGE JOINS FORCES WITH CHINA DEVELOPMENT BANK AND LAUNCHES ‘CHINA EUROPE RAILWAY’ WITH CHANGJIU LOGISTICS GROUP
On June 2nd, the Port of Zeebrugge signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China Development Bank and with Changjiu Logistics Group. Mr Joachim Coens, CEO of the Zeebrugge port authority, signed the agreements in Brussels. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Chinese Premier Keqiang Li and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.
Port of Zeebrugge and China Development Bank intend to combine the market advantage of the Port Authority of Zeebrugge and financial strength of the China Development Bank by building a new strategy partnership.
Based on the MoU, China Development Bank will provide financial support to the Chinese export companies who intend to establish their European cargo consolidation centre in the Port of Zeebrugge. China Development Bank will also provide financial support to the “Silk Road Platform Zeebrugge” project which has been jointly launched by the Port Authority of Zeebrugge, China COSCO Shipping Corporation and China Minmetals Corporation in October 2016.
This agreement will promote the trade and cargo flows between China and Europe via Zeebrugge.
Today the port authority also signed an agreement with Changjiu Logistics Group for the launch of the China-Europe Railway “Heilongjiang-Zeebrugge”. The frequency of the train is 4-6 services per week, up to 300 services per year. Each train will be loaded with 225 VOLVO cars. The transit time is less than 20 days.
24,000 new VOLVO cars with a total value of 600 million EUR will be transported to and distributed from the Port of Zeebrugge on a yearly basis.
Port of Zeebrugge launches intermodal planner
Port of Zeebrugge and developer Ecorys have launched a new online tool that gives port users access to a complete offer of direct and indirect intermodal connections.
Port of Zeebrugge is the fifth port in Europe to use Ecorys’ “Intermodal Links”, which is the first independent, online search engine for the best and fastest intermodal service providers for container, ferry and roro transport between more than 1,000 terminals in 50 countries. The planner determines the optimal route out of 16,000 terminal connections offered by 150 service providers (rail, inland waterway and short sea), including transport times and connection frequencies.
The port of Zeebrugge is a logistic platform where import and export cargo constantly crosses. To guarantee this flow of goods, connections are continuously being optimized. The intermodal planner will provide port clients with a complete overview of rail, inland waterway and short sea operators in Europe and hand them a selection of the best intermodal connections between two locations.
The intermodal planner is available at https://intermodal.portofzeebrugge.be/
Record number of port labourers in Zeebrugge
On the 1st of April 2017, Zeebrugge counted 2,055 registered port labourers. Both the number of port labourers and the number of shifts performed in the port have been growing strong the past few years. At the basis of this growth lies the continuing rise in automotive cargo, the well-performing roll-on/roll-off services and the large volumes of break bulk, which prove to be very labour intensive sectors in our port.
The figures for roll-on/roll-off services in the port of Zeebrugge have been rising significantly the past years. Over 2.7 million vehicles were shipped through Zeebrugge in 2016, a rise of 14.3 percent compared to 2015. The break bulk volume in Zeebrugge grew with a staggering 27 percent last year. The growth in labour shifts is directly connected with these sectors.
The record number was communicated by CEWEZ vzw. The non-profit association Cewez vzw "Centrale der Werkgevers Zeebrugge" (Employers' Center of Zeebrugge) is recognised as the only mandatary of the employers who engage the services of dock workers in the Zeebrugge port area with the purpose of fullfilling all their obligations arising from the employment pursuant to the application of the labour and social security legislation.
In the beginning of 2017, a new work reserve of 200 candidate-port labourers was added. These candidates will be trained and certified as port labourer when the activities in the port require extra hands.
P&O Ferries launched new dedicated freight service as part of major expansion of the Zeebrugge-Hull route
P&O FERRIES launched a new dedicated freight service between its Zeebrugge and Hull terminals on the 3rd of May.
The ferry and logistics company has chartered the 118 metre Elisabeth, a 5,000 ton container ship which makes three round-trips per week between Zeebrugge and Hull. The new sailings will complement P&O Ferries' existing combined tourist and freight service between Hull and the Belgian port, with the two ships on the route undergoing an £8.5 million relaunch earlier this year.
Janette Bell, Managing Director of P&O Ferries, said: "The new service will offer fast and efficient turnaround times in both ports, with our recently expanded Zeebrugge terminal having optimised handling at our freight gate to help customers' delivery commitments. We will carry all types of lift units on the new service including containers and swap bodies."
Zeebrugge is the ferry and logistics company's main continental hub. Overseas exporters to Britain benefit from P&O Ferries' dedicated freight routes from Zeebrugge to Teesport and Tilbury as well as Hull. The company has enhanced rail facilities at the port which handle the growing proportion of its cargoes which originate in Central and Eastern Europe. And exporters from Britain benefit from onward connectivity to northern Spain and Gothenburg via services operated by lines in partnership with P&O Ferries.