Port of Bruges-Zeebrugge
History and museums
The port of Bruges-Zeebrugge (in short: Port of Zeebrugge) is a large container, bulk cargo, new vehicles and passenger ferry terminal port in the municipality of Bruges, Flanders, Belgium, handling over 50 million tonnes of cargo annually.
In the last 21 years Zeebrugge has become a multifaceted port that handles a wide range of trades: unit loads (trailers and containers), new cars, conventional general cargo, 'high & heavy' cargoes, dry and liquid bulk cargoes and natural gas. From a purely transit port Zeebrugge has gradually evolved into a centre for European distribution.
The port has become a major European port since major development works were carried in the 1972 to 1985 period. Since then total tonnage has doubled. As of 2008, Bruges-Zeebrugge is one of the fastest growing ports between Le Havre and Hamburg. It is Europe's leading RoRo port, handling 12.5 million mt in 2010, and the world's largest port for imports and exports of new vehicles, with over 1.6 million units handled in 2010 (24.5% less than in 2008 due to the economical crises). It is also Europe's largest terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG), receiving natural gas from the Troll gas field via the 814 km long Zeepipe under the North Sea. LNG is also delivered in specialized gas tankers from various origins, like Africa, Australia or the Middle East. Zeebrugge counts as one of the most important ports in Europe for containerized cargo as well, handling over 2.5 million TEUs in 2010. In tonnage this comes down to 26.5 mt.
The port employs directly over 11,000 people and handles over 10,000 ship moorings annually. Together with the indirect employees, the port creates over 28,000 jobs.
The most important functions of the port are:
The port of Bruges-Zeebrugge is managed by the Maatschappij van de Brugse Zeevaartinrichtingen N.V. (abbreviated: MBZ).
The port complex of Bruges-Zeebrugge offers several main assets, which will allow volumes to develop even further in the years to come, namely,