Inland navigation

The port is connected to various major economic centres because of its central location within the European inland waterway network. Inland navigation is a safe and sustainable transport mode with plenty of potential for the future. That is why we wish to stimulate and support the efficiency of inland navigation, with infrastructure and new services.

In 2016, an estimated 49,300 barges called at the port to transport breakbulk, dry bulk, liquid bulk and containers to and from Belgium, Northern France, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Every week, more than 220 container shuttles operate to and from 85 European destinations. Inland navigation accounts for 37% of the total maritime transport of goods between the port and destinations in the European hinterland.  

Increased efficiency

  • Instream contributes to improved and safer inland navigation traffic flows, combined container handling in the terminals and efficient distribution in port. 
  • We want to increase of container distribution efficiency within the port. The Premium Barge Service (PBS) assures fast and efficient container transport between the various port terminals.  
  • The port community wants to encourage the bundling of small volumes of containers by inland navigation. 


  • The Port of Antwerp Connectivity Platform features a handy list of all the inland navigation and rail services for containers in Europe. 
    Port of Antwerp Intermodal Solutions facilitates the start-up of new or more frequent services to strategic European destinations, working with the inland navigation sector and forwarders. 

Inland navigation and the environment

The Antwerp Port Authority has encouraged hauliers, logistics players and other companies in the port to improve air and water quality for several years already.

  • Barge operators can deliver their household and hazardous waste to the three recycling parks for inland navigation in the port. 
  • Barge operators can also use onshore power connection points for electricity.
  • We are also working on improved degassing infrastructure so that tankers that have to degas can do this even faster and cheaply. 
  • CLean Inland SHipping (CLINSH) aims to reduce barge emissions, with emission-reducing technology, alternative fuels and onshore power supplies.

Sustainable Development Goals Port of Antwerp