Security in the port encompasses both safety and security. This is the only way for the port to create a climate of trust among companies, their customers and the local community that lives near the port. Several potential threats and the port’s complex territorial location require all (public and private) stakeholders to join forces and offer integrated and integral security. 

Harbourmaster’s Office

The Harbourmaster’s Office - Safety and Security of the Antwerp Port Authority can liaise between all these stakeholders, so they can share information, knowledge and expertise. Because ultimately it is these partnerships between people that form the cornerstone of efficient and durable security in the port. The Antwerp Port Authority is always searching for opportunities for improvement, as a key player, that takes the lead and positions itself as an international partner. 

Securing cargo and cargo flows

The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) sets out the rules for securing port terminals and international shipping. It is closely monitored by the Nationale Autoriteit Maritieme Beveiliging (NAMB) and the Lokale Autoriteit Maritieme Beveiliging (LCMB), the national and local authority for maritime security respectively. The LCMB comprises the Harbourmaster’s Office - Safety and Security, the maritime police, customs, the local police force of Antwerp, Beveren and Zwijndrecht, Defence, National Security and contingency planning officials. They regularly meet to discuss security issues in the port.

Disasters on the water

Every year, an average of 14,000 seagoing vessels and 57,562 barges enter and leave our port, to load and unload chemical substances. This means the port must pay attention to leakages of harmful substances. We take swift action in case of oil pollution by containing the oil slick and ensuring the polluted structures, jetties and water surface are properly (and mechanically) cleaned. All the dock superintendents took an oil spill containment training course in 2017. The port also recruited incident coordinators, who can provide support 24/7 in case of oil contamination.


Appliances and apps are increasingly connected and can be centrally or remotely used. The Internet of Things and smart environments also allow the maritime industry to work faster and more efficiently. In fact, our operations now depend on this. The systems we use for efficient container handling play a crucial role for example.

But this technological progress also entails new risks as cybercriminals can cause major damage with relatively few resources and are also difficult to track down. They scam companies by adopting the identity of employees, creating false accounts and documents.
The port needs properly secured applications and connections and users must be aware of how they use them. The alertness of (port) users is a must to ensure our digital resilience.

Naturally we also pay attention to security in other areas:

  • road safety, for commuters and for cargo transport.
  • safety on the job for employees.
  • active participation in the Port of Antwerp’s Neighbourhood Watch network, which allows the public and private sectors to exchange information about security.