Port of Antwerp

The Port of Antwerp is located in Antwerp, Belgium. It is a seaport in the center of Europe that can pass Capesize ships.
Port of Antwerp has become one of the largest seaports in Europe, and its cargo volume is second only to Rotterdam. Antwerp’s docks are connected to the hinterland by railways, roads, rivers and canals.

Port of Antwerp aerial view
Port of Antwerp aerial view



  • 1811: Napoleon Bonaparte approved the construction of Antwerp’s first lock and dock: Bonaparte Shipyard.
  • 1813: Bonaparte’s second dock: King William’s dock is also put into use.
  • 1830: The Dutch launch a raid and occupy Scheldt, and Bonaparte dock is controlled by the Netherlands.
  • 1860: The Kattendijk dock in Antwerp is completed.
  • 1863: Belgium redeemed the territories occupied by the Netherlands, including the Bonaparte dock.
  • 1905: Ships drawing 31 feet (9.4 m) of water can enter the existing docks and enter the new Lefèbvre and America docks.
  • 1908: Antwerp experienced the second golden age and owned eight terminals.
Majestic Port of Antwerp
Majestic Port of Antwerp

Age of war

  • October 4, 1914: During World War I, Churchill arrived in Antwerp to defend the city and its port.
  • 1944: During World War II, the Allied forces liberated Antwerp on September 4. The port and facilities are relatively undamaged, and no large-scale reconstruction work is required.
  • The first half of 1945: On average, about 500,000 tons of cargo were discharged per month. After the European hostilities ended, the port was used to transport ammunition, vehicles, tanks and personnel to the Pacific.
  • After Japan surrendered, it shipped the goods directly to the United States.
  • Starting in November 1945, activity decreased, and by October 1946, all US military operations ceased.
Overview Port of Antwerp
Overview Port of Antwerp

Peaceful development

  • 1960s: During the prosperity of the Port of Antwerp, the first plans for the development of Waaslandhaven were made.
  • Late 1980s: The basic outline of Waaslandhaven has been basically completed.
  • 1989: Due to the need to accommodate a larger Post-Panamax ship, the company built a new lock: Berendrecht Lock in the southern part of the Zandvliet lock. When the ship lock is completed, it is the world’s largest shipping lock.
  • 1990: The European terminal was put into use.
  • 1997: The Beihai Terminal was put into use.
  • 1996: Construction of the Verrebroek Dockyard began and in 2000 ushered in the construction of its first ocean-going vessel.
  • July 6, 2005: The first terminal of the Deurganck terminal opens.
Port of Antwerp
Port of Antwerp
  • October 2010: The port approved a long-term investment plan, planning to invest 1.6 billion euros in the next 15 years.
  • The port will improve existing facilities and acquire land from General Motors, which closed its Antwerp plant.
  • 2012: The Port of Antwerp handled a total of 14,220 sea trading vessels (190.8 million tons of cargo, 53.6% of the container), 57,044 inland barges (123.2 million tons of cargo), and provided liner services to 800 different maritime destinations.
  • 2013: The port’s freight volume reached 190 million tons.
  • June 2016: The Kieldrecht lock is opened. The Kieldrecht lock, which has invested 340 million euros, is the largest ship lock in the world.
  • 2018: The port’s container handling capacity reached 11.1 million TEU.
  • October 2019: The port of Antwerp begins to use dual fuel tugs powered by hydrogen and diesel.
  • July 2020: Due to the impact of the new crown epidemic, the total throughput of the Port of Antwerp in the first half of the year fell by 4.9% compared with the same period in 2019.

Port layout

Right bank

The Berendrecht Lock has a length of 500 m, a width of 68 m, and a depth of 13.50 m. When completed, it was the largest lock in the world (replaced by the Kieldrecht lock on the left bank of Antwerp).
In addition to the ship lock, further development on the right bank was carried out on both banks of the Scheldt outside the dock area. Two large container terminals have been opened here.

The new Antwerp's Port Authority building was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects
The new Antwerp’s Port Authority building was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects

Left bank

The left bank is mainly composed of 3 parts: Waasland Canal, the Verrebroek Dock, and the Vrasene Dock.

Deurganck Pier

The total capacity of the terminal is estimated to exceed 8 to 9 million 20-foot TEUs. The length of the wharf at Deurganck Wharf is 5.5 km.

Kieldrecht lock

The Kieldrecht lock has a total volume of 1,200,000 cubic meters. It is a new lock located at the end of Deurganckdock. The lock opened in June 2016 and is the largest lock in the world. It costs 340 million euros.

Kieldrecht lock
Kieldrecht lock

Port of Antwerp Data

Western Europe
In use
Antwerp, Belgium
Official website
Antwerp’s Port Authority
Sea area
North Sea
Port type
Deepwater port
Smart port
Annual container volume
11.1 million TEU (2018)
Annual cargo tonnage
190 million tons (2013)

Port of Antwerp Location On Earth

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