Boluda Towage Europe Gets Assigned Port of Zeebrugge Concession

  • Port of Zeeburgge Boluda
  • Port of Zeeburgge Boluda

After a tendering procedure, the Board of Directors of the Port of Zeebrugge has decided to assign the concession for the towage services for the Port of Zeebrugge to Boluda Towage Europe. This contract has a duration of five years and starts on the 1st of January 2021.

The concession is the renewal of an existing partnership, and is extendable for a single period of three years. The focus of this partnership between Port of Zeebrugge and Boluda Towage Europe lays in efficient, smooth, and safe handling of shipping at a competitive price point, and puts forward initiatives regarding sustainability.

Two new tugboats, that are complying with the most recent Tier III emission standards, will be put to use. Aside from the Union Koala, that was retrofitted to the IMO Tier III standards in 2019, Boluda Towage Europe will retrofit the Union Panda this year. The emissions of the remaining tugboats will be reduced in the first two years of the contract. As such, emissions of nitrogen oxides will be reduced with 80%. Shore power will also become the norm for moored tugboats, so that these can switch off their engines when inactive and during the rest-period of the crew.

In total eight tugboats will be put into action in the Port of Zeebrugge. These are all certified with the highest fire extinguishing standards. The tugs will be manned with local crew.

Boluda Towage Europe’s CEO, Geert Vandecappelle: “We are proud that the concession for the towage services in the Port of Zeebrugge has been reassigned to us for the coming five years. It is also thanks to our local crew members, and the support of their families that this concession was allocated to us. These crew members have given the best of themselves for our company in Zeebrugge, from the early years of URS until the present company Boluda Towage. Moreover, they have passed on their loyalty, passion, and professional attitude from generation to generation within their families. For them, this allocation is of major importance, as they can keep on exercising their profession in Zeebrugge for the years to come. From our long-standing partnership with the Port of Zeebrugge and our historical roots in this port, we have gained  a lot of local knowledge. For the coming years, we will intensify our cooperation, where we can pursue our common goals to make the logistical chain in the Port of Zeebrugge more sustainable.

 Rik Goetinck, CEO a.i. Port of Zeebrugge: “The renewal of the partnership with Boluda Towage Europe means that a correct, loyal and professional service will be continued, and that we can further promote sustainable shipping in the Port of Zeebrugge. The initiatives of Boluda Towage Europe perfectly match our clean port strategy, and their long-term knowledge about the port ensures  smooth and safe shipping.”


About Boluda Towage Europe

Boluda Towage Europe provides tailored towage services to clients in major ports in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The company is part of Boluda Towage Group, a family business that has established itself as one of the leading providers of maritime services worldwide. The group can be found in 90 ports across the globe, operating a fleet of over 300 tugboats in 15 countries in Europe, the west coast of Africa, America and the Indian Ocean. For further information, visit or


About the Port of Zeebrugge 

Zeebrugge, the seaport of Bruges, is a maritime crossroads shipping nearly 46 million tons of goods annually. The coastal port is one of the world’s foremost roll-on/roll-off ports and a fully equipped container port due to its infrastructure and water depth. The offering of both intra-European and intercontinental services makes Zeebrugge an important access port to the European markets. Zeebrugge also focuses on the transshipment of conventional cargo, liquefied natural gas, cruises and – not in the least – the handling of new cars and “high and heavy” loads. Handling over 2.9 million units on an annual basis, the coastal port is the leading car-handling port in the world.