At the moment MSC, the port of Antwerp’s largest container customer, has developed its European hub in the Delwaide dock on the right bank of the Scheldt where last year it handled around 4.6m teu but which has no room for further growth. The company has therefore officially notified the Port Authority that it wishes to expand elsewhere in the port to accommodate further growth in the Benelux region. It has opted for the Deurganck dock, where it aims to have the MSC and P3 freight handled in the existing PSA terminal, with a request to be allowed to expand the capacity.
This has been prompted not only by the lack of capacity on the right bank but also by the fact that the company will start using ships of 16,000 and 18,000 teu in the near future, and handling behind the Berendrecht lock is no longer compatible. Furthermore it is important to be able to concentrate the trade in a single terminal.
Before any possible reservation of space in the Deurganck dock, the Port Authority will organise an open, transparent invitation for expressions of interest from the market. By inviting expressions of interest it will be possible to determine whether there are any other proposals that might be incompatible with facilitating MSC and P3 trade in the Deurganck dock.
Based on the results of the invitation, further discussions will be held with the stakeholders.
The APA will also examine the possibilities that might arise for using the Delwaide dock in future if MSC moves, subject to a formal invitation for expressions of interest at a later time.