The Zeebrugge Port Authority is working together with departments of the federal government, port organizations and port companies to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus, whilst ensuring the port can stay operational in a safe way. On this page, you can find an overview of the measures that have been taken. The situation is evaluated daily.
All critical functions and core processes are guaranteed.
The continuity in the Port of Zeebrugge is secured.
The shipping movements and operations are functioning on maximum capacity, as long as the situation allows.
Administrative personnel is asked to be flexible in fulfilling their duties and are encouraged to do so from home.
The port authority has taken the following measures:
We are continuously following the advisements of the World Health Organization, the Federal Department of Health, the EU and the Federal Department of Mobility.
Events in the port and organised visits are either postponed or cancelled. Business trips are cancelled, and currently also prohibited by the EU.
Physical meetings are discouraged and replaced by conference calls.
All departments of the port authority are encouraged to work from home if possible. The attendance on all departments is however guaranteed. If working from home is impossible, the porth authority personnel is spread throughout the company’s offices and divided in time schedules.
The guidelines concerning hygiene within the port authority are intensfied and communicated clearly.
The maintenance personnel and cleaning staff are instructed to give extra attention to door handles, restrooms and 24 hour working stations.
The work schedules of the continuous services are adjusted in order to reduce the risk of infections. The aforementioned guidelines concerning hygiene are obviously applied, with extra attention for the disinfection of work stations before and after a change in shifts.
A Maritime Declaration of Health from all ships entering the Port of Zeebrugge is mandatory, as always. The Federal Public Department of Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment ‘Saniport’ screens these documents and takes further action if necessary.
The National Safety Council has reported that cruise ships are allowed to call on the Port of Zeebrugge, but passengers and crew members are not allowed to leave the ship.
The EU has closed the external borders of the Shengen territory for at least a period of 30 days. Non-necessary travel is prohibited. In the port of Zeebrugge this travel ban will be followed, monitored and handled by the nautical department, the harbour police and the local police.
The impact of these preventative measures on our departments is monitored daily and all partners are informed continuously.
Press Release March 23, 2020
On Monday 23 March 2020, the port authority of Zeebrugge organised a taskforce meeting to discuss and evaluate the COVID-19 situation in the port and to evaluate the impact on the port’s operations and the challenges the port of Zeebrugge is facing in the midst of this global crisis.
The taskforce meeting is held on a weekly basis and is attended by several crucial partners in Zeebrugge such as APZI-Voka West Flanders, pilotage, Boluda Towage Europe, CEWEZ (port labour), Traffic Center Zeebrugge, and the Shipping Association Bruges-Zeebrugge.
Prior to the meeting, a team of the port authority’s commercial department and APZI (Association of Port of Zeebrugge Interests) reaches out to companies in Zeebrugge (terminals, liners, logistic companies, production companies) and asks them about their current situation and concerns. This information is then discussed within the taskforce.
Rik Goetinck, CEO a.i. Port of Zeebrugge: “The taskforce follows the situation in Zeebrugge in a structural manner. It allows us to detect problems in any sector in Zeebrugge at an early stage and work together to come up with a solution. Today we were able to conclude that the port of Zeebrugge is still in operation at all levels. We are of course experiencing some slowdowns and the port is not as operational as it would be in a ‘normal’ situation, but every one is working hard to stay in business and that is our main concern at this time.”
Press Release March 18, 2020
Following the announcement of the Belgian government concerning adjusted measures in limiting the spread of the Covid 19 virus, the port authority of Zeebrugge has increased its efforts to keep everyone at work in the port safe. Furthermore, the Port of Zeebrugge and partners at all levels have committed to keeping the port fully operational to safeguard our critical role as a maritime crossroads and logistics platform.
The port of Zeebrugge plays a crucial role in the supply chains (food, medicine, critical components) and energy supply. The activity in the port is as such a vital process.
Supporting the functioning of the port and as such also considered a vital process is the handling of ships. The nautical services, the terminals and the companies where ships load and unload are a part of this, and are thus also categorized as ‘vital’.
To what extent the diverse professional groups within these port companies are categorized as vital, is something for the companies to determine within their own structure. The proportionate measures for the protection and safety of these people are absolutely necessary.
As a port authority, we trust that every company in the port, each within its own domain, will lend a full cooperation for the maximum continuity of the critical port processes. As a port authority, we are of course also taking our responsibility.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone: port laborers, seamen, and all others involved in maintaining the flow of goods through our port, at a time when these people also wish to be close to their families. Their commitment and efforts are a great sign of the port community’s solidarity.
Rik Goetinck, CEO a.i. Port of Zeebrugge