Economic development

Since its emergence, over eight centuries ago, Antwerp’s port has become a genuine engine of the Flemish economy. Something we are very proud of. And we want this growth to continue unabated. As Belgium’s largest employer, we have a duty to lead by example. We have the space to experiment and grow.

Antwerp’s port is a gateway to Europe for goods from other continents. Before these goods reach consumers, they undergo various treatments. Fruit is examined for ripeness, coffees are blended, weight and repackaged and in some cases, appliances are assembled in port in postponed manufacturing. This is known as Value Added Logistics, or VAL. These activities create higher added value in the logistics chain.

We benefit from this, but so does the entire country, for example through taxes. Thousands of small and large companies have the potential to grow even if they are established far outside the port precisely because it is so easy to import and export goods.


Every day, the port provides a livelihood for about 150,000 people. Every employee and every manager has his own story, needs, expectations, wishes and dreams. The port’s continuity is a source of stability and provides a better quality of life for all these people.


The port’s sustainable added value is on the rise and we would like to keep it that way. We review our activities and optimise them whenever we think a more sustainable alternative exists. Our biennial sustainability report gives a full overview of our activities. Every two years, we also present our Sustainability Award and demonstrate our commitment in consultation forums on sustainability.

The upward trend in the demand for additional container capacity continues every year. We must respond to this demand as a port. While growth is important, we try to achieve this in a well-thought out way that is as sustainable as possible. We take ecological aspects and the social impact into account in all our initiatives. For example, we actively stimulate the possibilities and advantages of the circular economy and a sustainable use of the space in the port area. Various stakeholders join forces to achieve higher efficiency with fewer resources and less space, thereby optimising their impact on the environment.

These are just a few examples of how we maintain and strengthen the competitive position of the port area and the surrounding region.

Lead by example

As Belgium’s largest employer, we are a role model for other employers and transport hubs. We have the space to experiment and grow and enjoy sharing the knowledge we acquired. Because ultimately, we all stand to benefit from healthy, sustainable development.

The port is not just a gateway for goods from other continents. A wide range of activities take place in the port, adding value to the products, for the company, its employees and society.  Machines and people in the port improve a product or process. Fresh food is examined, appliances are assembled and so on, creating revenue, direct and indirect jobs for 150,000 people and prosperity.

To sustainably increase this added value, we will:

  • engage in a dialogue with our stakeholders on sustainable initiatives.
  • search for ways to create additional container capacity, together with the Government of Flanders.
  • examine and evaluate our efforts and activities in a sustainability report.
  • present a Sustainability Award every two years, rewarding the efforts of a company that contributes to the port’s sustainable transition.
  • stimulate a circular economy, transforming the waste of one company into a raw material for another.
  • support sustainable business park management, whereby neighbouring companies join forces to achieve higher efficiency with fewer resources and space.
  • share our knowledge with other companies, including those outside Antwerp’s port region.

Sustainable Development Goals Port of Antwerp