Although there are now several infections with Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, in Europe, there is no reason to panic. To date, no cases of the Covid-19 virus have been reported in the port of Antwerp.
Port operation is therefore certainly not being compromised at the moment. Therefore, no additional measures are advised in addition to the standard procedures. Port of Antwerp is constantly following the advice of WHO, EU, FPS Public Health (Saniport) and FPS Mobility. If there is a change in the situation, you can read it here.
All incoming ships must present a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH), whereby the captain must indicate 24 hours before arrival whether there are sick or suspicions of sick people on board, as well as a list of the last ten ports.
The ship is then screened by Saniport. If there is a suspicion, it may be mandatory to stay off the coast and a doctor may board it. It will then not receive a pilot and will not sail to the port of Antwerp.
Read more information about the Covid-19 on the FPS Public Health site.
Economic impact on freight transport
As a result of the Coronavirus, there are currently around 20% fewer sailings in China. Worldwide, it is expected that it will lead to a 1% reduction in container transport throughout 2020.
In the port of Antwerp, based on preliminary forecasts, it is estimated that a month of traffic on China will be lost as a result of the corona crisis. This corresponds to 115,000 containers, or 7% container traffic to and from China. China is the second trading partner for Antwerp after the US. Last year, container volumes from Antwerp to China grew by 16% to 1.39 million 20 foot containers (TEU).