Jacques Vandermeiren: “Antwerp and breakbulk, a hole-in-one”

Breakbulk has been a specialty in the Port of Antwerp ever since the 12th century. But it has come under pressure due to worldwide disruptions due to corona. That’s why the port continues to put steel and project cargo high on its commercial list.

Breakbulk has been a specialty of shippers and forwarders in the port of Antwerp ever since the 12th century. Thanks to their "can do" mentality and extensive experience, Antwerp has grown into the leading breakbulk port in Europe with project cargo, fruit and cars from near and far. But also steel and wood that are used to produce the clubs in my golf bag.

However, breakbulk has come under pressure recently  due to worldwide disruptions in trade and the shutdown of some industries as a result of  the corona crisis. That’s why we continue to put steel and project cargo high on our commercial list, and why we are releasing a  new water-bound concession of 15 hectares  at the Churchill dock, that will develop general cargo activities. And that’s also why we embrace initiatives such as Antwerp XL that brings the world's leading players in breakbulk together to connect, learn, innovate and do business. 

As a passionate golfer, I know how important it is to have the right tools to play the game. In breakbulk, this is no different. Technologies such as Bulkchain, a central collaboration platform for breakbulk cargo recently launched by NxtPort and Port+, are crucial to increase supply chain  efficiency. This system shares real time updates on breakbulk consignments with all stakeholders and will make it possible to track and trace the steel and wood from the terminal to the course in the future.

In addition to 200 calls of breakbulk maritime vessels each month and 15 specialized terminals, Port of Antwerp has an excellent connection with the European hinterland via road, rail, shortsea and waterway. I aim for my golf balls to land safely on the green and I strive for breakbulk goods to find their way quickly and reliably from our port to the end customer.

At Port of Antwerp, we aim for the hole-in-one!

Jacques Vandermeiren
CEO, Port of Antwerp

These are the other articles in the dossier ‘Breakbulk’:
Breakbulk revival in Antwerp: preface to all the stories
Catrien Scheers: “Covid-19 will never undermine my faith in breakbulk”
Zimmer Staal operating at full capacity at terminal operator Euroports
Rollit Cargo anticipates growth in wind turbine market
Victrol carries bridges, machines and parts for offshore wind farms
Corona crisis confirms need for digital breakbulk platform
Biggest lifting job in Port of Antwerp in many years by Mammoet
Muriel Marquet (HSL): “Breakbulk is our core business”
Rail&Sea: "Big increase in combined breakbulk and container"
CJ-ICM Logistics: “We do the craziest things”
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions invests in resources for breakbulk
Oldest port company Stukwerkers sees the sector changing rapidly
Van der Vlist Belgium expands its European hub at Zeebrugge