The Western Scheldt, which passes through the port area, offers an open connection to the North Sea towards the international routes on the Atlantic and towards the Baltic States. Thanks to the maximum depth of 17 metres, the largest seagoing vessels can reach the port.
International shipping traffic also requires everyone to use the same working language. In the area covering the Western Scheldt, the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal and the river Scheldt up to Antwerp, Dutch or English must be used as the working language when communicating by radiotelephone.
North Sea Port provides fast and safe passage, among other things, by using the Enigma+ information and communication system.
As a seaport, North Sea Port is accessible to seagoing vessels from all over the world due to its strategic location at the North Sea. The draught varies from 17 metres in Vlissingen to 12.5 metres on the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal and Ghent, 32 kilometres inland. Over 9,000 seagoing vessels moor at North Sea Port every year, from capesizers, coasters, container ships to RoRo ships and bulk vessels.
Its central location in the West-European waterway network makes North Sea Port an important artery for inland shipping in Europe. All neighbouring ports are easily reachable and the waterway network reaches as far as the Black Sea. Every year about 40,000 inland vessels enter North Sea Port to load and unload. Many different facilities are available for this in the port to allow the passage to run smoothly.
Port Security and Safety
North Sea Port is committed to high levels of security and safety. The International Ship & Port Facility Security Code is obviously used here, and measures are taken to protect vessels and port facilities. North Sea Port also monitors all the activities in the port area 24/7.
Over half of all goods traffic between North Sea Port and hinterland travels by inland waterway shippingNorth Sea Port can see that 54% of goods are transported to the hinterland by means of inland waterway shipping. This is the outcome of a study conducted by the port among companies throughout the port area.
Automatic Identification System (AIS) compulsory for inland barges in entire North Sea Port areaFrom November 1, 2019, inland vessels must use the Automatic Identification System (AIS) in Terneuzen. From now on AIS is compulsory in the entire port area. This makes it easier for North Sea Port to follow all vessel movements from Flushing to Ghent, which will promote safety in the port area.
Inland shipping vessels in Terneuzen lock have to notify North Sea Port before entering CanalFrom 1 November 2019, inland shipping vessels that wish to sail up the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal via the lock in Terneuzen are required to submit notification to North Sea Port. This will both simplify services and increase security. Rijkswaterstaat was previously responsible for this task.