CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: actions and measures in North Sea Port - port still operational, impact on cargo transhipment, positive initiatives, cruises and Port House

Published on Mon 30 Mar 2020
North Sea Port is still fully operational in these coronavirus times. Thanks to various additional actions and measures, activities are continuing in a safe manner. The impact is being felt by individual businesses.

Day after day, the Dutch and Belgian governments are tightening measures to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. North Sea Port is following these measures closely. At the same time, North Sea Port continues to focus on keeping the cross-border port operational along the Ghent side in Belgium and the Zeeland side in the Netherlands. The port is taking further actions and measures so that this can be done safely.

Port and nautical services still operational

As a port, North Sea Port is still fully operational in the nautical sphere. This means ships are still entering and leaving the port smoothly and safely. The port authority is constantly monitoring whether the nautical services (from pilots, through lock operators and tug services to traffic controllers and the loading and unloading of ships) are still fully available in order to allow the work in the port to continue.

To date, North Sea Port has not seen a significant decrease in shipping movements in our port.

Hygiene and distance measures

The port authority is receiving frequent questions about hygiene, distance between individuals and personal protective equipment. North Sea Port calls on everyone to adhere to the applicable national rules and to use their common sense.

Food booming; construction, automotive and ro/ro feel impact

People are busy stockpiling supplies of food. As a food port, North Sea Port is seeing an increase in goods transhipment in this sector. Companies in the chemicals and fuel industries are also doing well.

In Belgium, do-it-yourself stores have already closed their doors and more and more activities are being shut down. As a result, sales are falling, which is having an impact on the building materials sector.

The automotive and ro/ro sectors are also seeing a decline in volumes. The reasons for this include the closure of a number of companies and the ban on imports of cars to the United Kingdom.

Positive initiatives in the port community

Over recent weeks, many companies in the port have supported numerous calls for surgical masks and protective equipment for the transport of workers. Some companies have even retooled production to make hand sanitizers, among other products.

Suspension of cruises extended

The suspension of free cruises from Ghent to Terneuzen (and vice versa) and in Vlissingen has been extended. There will now be no departures until 1 July. All those who had signed up for the cruises will be informed about this personally.

Closure of Port House and exhibition extended

The Port House in Ghent (Graslei) will also remain closed to visitors until 1 July. The planned guided tours will not take place and the public will not be able to view the exhibition on North Sea Port.

Information about North Sea Port

A full summary of all the actions and measures in the North Sea Port cross-border port zone can be found on our website. >LINK>

Information for the Netherlands and Belgium

For the most recent measures announced by the Dutch and Belgian governments, please see the following websites: