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Reform Support
© EU

Supporting reforms to transition to a green economy and fight climate change

Funding Programme
  • 2018

Improving inland navigation and traffic conditions in the Antwerp port area

for the Antwerp Port Authority

The Commission is helping the Port of Antwerp move freight from the road to rail and inland waterways. The objective is to reduce road congestion and improve the navigation and coordination of vessels in the port area.


Belgium is one of Europe’s most congested countries in terms of hours wasted in traffic and delays. This weighs on the competitiveness of the Port of Antwerp, Europe’s second largest port and a major economic hub in Belgium.

New technological solutions are needed to reduce road congestion to and from the Antwerp port area by shifting traffic to inland navigation or rail. The port also needs to optimise the coordination of inland vessels.

Support to be delivered

The support was provided over 1 year, providing expertise to help identify key success criteria, preliminary steps needed for the success and check the sustainability of new technical solutions.

It consisted of:

  • investigating the concept of “inland nodes”, with a study on bundling volumes at consolidation points and providing regular services towards the port’s terminals; and
  • analysing 4 potential approaches and developing a business case for improved coordination of inland navigation, together with its system requirements

Results achieved

Support from the Commission delivered the following results:

  • new technical solutions to help develop the Port of Antwerp.

And is expected to have the following impact:

  • reduced congestion to and from the Antwerp port area by shifting volumes to inland navigation and rail; and
  • improved and more efficient navigation in the Antwerp port area.