North Sea Port extends term of CEO Daan Schalck by six years

Published on Mon 22 Apr 2024
The current CEO of North Sea Port, Daan Schalck, will remain in charge of the port authority of the merged Dutch-Flemish port for the next six years. This was decided unanimously by the board. The aim is to continue to grow the port as a top European port and focus even more firmly on customers.

Daan Schalck was appointed CEO of North Sea Port on 29 June 2018 for a term of six years. For the first two years, he performed the role jointly with co-CEO Jan Lagasse. Both men helped secure the merger between Zeeland Seaports (Vlissingen and Terneuzen) and the Port of Ghent, which officially took effect on 1 January 2018. Following Lagasse's departure in September 2020, Daan Schalck stayed on as sole CEO, and now his term is being extended for another six years to 2030. This was decided unanimously by the Supervisory Body.

Sofie Bracke, chair of the Supervisory Body and port alderman in Ghent: "This extension will not really come as a surprise to anyone.Daan Schalck is an excellent CEO, one who is steering North Sea Port towards a future as a sustainable port committed to circularity and the energy transition. By confirming him in his post, we are guaranteeing continued added value, both for the many companies located here and for the residents of the wider port area."

"My aim as CEO of North Sea Port is to push forward this unique European project for another next six years. Rolling out the strategic plan continues to have my full attention," says (almost) 61-year-old Daan Schalck.

Top European port

Since its inception as a merged port, North Sea Port has ranked among Europe’s top ten ports. It already plays a major role in providing energy for today’s needs, and that role will only grow in the future. Efforts to facilitate the energy transition will go hand in hand with the further development of the circular economy. And as a multimodal port, North Sea Port more than ever provides a logistics hub for global and European cargo transshipment. In this light, Daan Schalck, as CEO, wants to cement North Sea Port’s position as a top European port. The port authority is already establishing a dialogue with key international customers. The challenge is to identify which other companies it can attract. To fulfill this aim, North Sea Port will actively participate in even more forums, looking beyond just the European institutions. It will also be drawing up a communication and marketing plan that meets its European ambitions.

Even more customer-centric

In addition, customers – businesses – are becoming even more central to everything the port authority does. Schalck is focused on all the companies located in the port area that create direct value: financial, economic or in terms of sustainability, in line with the strategy set out by the shareholders. The guiding principle is to further develop and roll out our customer partnership – the 'customer intimacy' strategic model. Daan Schalck: "In our directing role, we are advising companies more proactively and connecting them with each other more than ever before. Thanks to our personal approach, open attitude and in-depth knowledge of our customers, we help make a difference to their operations and our entire port community." The port authority needs to be an even more approachable, accessible and agile partner.

To fulfil those ambitions, the organisation of the port authority will be further professionalised and service to customers and stakeholders taken to the next level.


Daan Schalck was born in Ghent, Belgium in 1963. After studying at Ghent University, he began his career in the water industry in 1988. Between 1995 and 1999, Schalck was adviser on economy and ports to the responsible alderman on Ghent’s city council. From 1999 to 2004, he served as an elected member of the Federal Parliament in Belgium, specialising in public enterprises and mobility. In 2004, he switched to the private sector, joining Ernst & Young. However, the port world continued to fascinate him. In 2007, he became managing director of the company that manages land for the port of Antwerp on the left bank of the Scheldt. In June 2009, he returned to his home town as CEO of the Port of Ghent. Following the merger of the Port of Ghent with Zeeland Seaports, Daan Schalck was appointed CEO of the new port authority North Sea Port for six years in June 2018. Now his term is being extended for another six years, to 2030.
Daan Schalck chaired the Mobility Council of Flanders, the Flemish government's strategic advisory council, until July 2023. He is a visiting professor at Ghent University and is also vice-president of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO).