Antwerp port goes nocturnal against congestion impact
‘Slim naar Antwerpen’
The Port Authority presented a number of solutions to ease traffic caused by the port activities during the third call for mobility solutions of the ‘Slim naar Antwerpen’ project. This project aims to improve mobility in and around the city.
The decision to open the Europa and PSA’s North Sea terminals 24/7 was the most striking solution. The MedRepair depot on the right bank will also be open from 5 AM, an hour earlier. On the left bank, the MPET and Antwerp Gateway container terminals have already been open for business at night since 2017.
“Facilitating nocturnal logistics on both banks of the river Scheldt makes combinations between the different terminals easier for the logistics parties”, says the Port Authority. “The cooperation of depots for empty containers is essential for the exchange between both banks.”
Modal shift continues
The Port Authority says the road infrastructure is completely saturated for the biggest part of the day. The Oosterweel connection works will only make things worse. “There is, however, road capacity at 1, 2 or 3 AM”, says Tom Verlinden, the company’s mobility manager.
The nocturnal opening does not impact the objective for a modal shift. For goods traffic, the Port aims for an increase in transport over inland waterways from 38 to 42% by 2030. By that time, rail transport of goods should double to 15%.
For the transport of people, besides the waterbus and bicycle bus (through the Tijsmans and Liefkenshoek tunnels), collective buses and bikes are possible solutions. A number of big companies already have their own bus service.
In the future, three bus hubs on the edge of the port grounds will be added. Electric bike stations near public transport are also planned as a last-mile solution.