The Ghent Port Company AMC is the port authority for the Port of Ghent. The port authority is responsible for the effective management of the Port of Ghent by ensuring that the infrastructure and services are maintained to provide outstanding services to the port's customers. The port authority also works to generate sustainable wealth for the Port of Ghent region by offering team-based seaport-related options tailored to their customers' needs.
The Port of Ghent had a record year for cargo-handling in 2008 for both seaborne and inland traffic. The Port of Ghent welcomed 3463 vessels carrying a total of 47.1 million tons of cargo, including 33.9 million tons of inbound cargo and 13.2 million tons of outbound cargo. Of the total, 31.4 million tons were dry bulk, 8.9 million tons were liquid bulk, 4.6 million tons of conventional cargo, 1.7 million tons of roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and 584 thousand tons of containers.
Seaborne cargoes totaling 27 million tons included 21.2 million tons of imports and 5.8 million tons of exports. These cargoes were dominated by ores and metal residues (5.9 million tons), solid mineral fuels (4.2 million tons), foodstuffs and animal feed (3.6 million tons), petroleum products (3.2 million tons) as well as smaller volumes of crude minerals and building materials, agricultural products, fertilizers, and other goods.
Inland cargoes included 12.7 million tons of inbound cargoes and 7.4 million tons of outbound cargoes. Inland cargoes were dominated by petroleum products (3.6 million tons), foodstuffs and animal feed (2.5 million tons), solid mineral fuels (2.7 million tons), ores and mineral residues (2.7 million tons), agricultural products (1.5 million tons), and metal products (1.1 million tons) as well as smaller volumes of fertilizers, chemicals, and other goods.
In recent years, it has become clear that the existing locks and the Ghent-Terneuzen canal are not adequate to meet the needs of modern ocean-going vessels. The Port of Ghent is planning important upgrades to the locks and canal.
The new Kluizendok created an ample land area for waterfront activities and added capacity for as much as eight million tons of cargo per year. The Port of Ghent is developing areas to the north, and non-waterfront industrial sites are being constructed to provide additional supply, transport, and distribution services for cargoes. Furthermore, the Port of Ghent's roadways and rail services are being improved to assure congestion-free movement of cargoes to the Port of Ghent's hinterlands, including areas in Northern France. An important facet of port improvements is focus on the ecological and environmental impact of the port as well as the port's goal to become a leader in the fields of green power and biofuels.
The Port of Ghent is a dependable modern well-rounded port serving the needs of today's modern shipping industry. The Port of Ghent leads European ports in handling bulk cargoes, particularly cereals and cereal by-products, with storage capacity for more than a million tons of bulk cargo. The Port of Ghent also handles bulk commodities like coal, petroleum products, ores, fertilizers, minerals, and animal feeds.
Automotive cargoes are a significant part of the Port of Ghent's total cargo throughput. With several auto and truck assembly plants in the city, cargoes include car components and auto parts.
With an important steel mill in the Port of Ghent, port facilities transship raw materials from deep-sea vessels directly to the mill and export steel products directly from the mill to ocean-going vessels and inland barges. The Port of Ghent also receives scrap for processing at one of Europe's leading recycling and scrapping companies located in the city.
Another major cargo traveling through the Port of Ghent includes paper and forest products. A long-time major cargo area, woods are imported through the Port of Ghent for port-based importers who produce and recycle the products and distribute them throughout the Port of Ghent hinterlands. Cargoes of peat, wood chips, and pellets are increasing in the modern Port of Ghent.
Striving to keep pace with increasing demands, the Port of Ghent is constantly developing new quays and industrial areas. The newly-opened Kluizendok offers 400 hectares for industrial and physical distribution. The fully inter-modal Kluizendok offers shorter sailing times, four kilometers of quays, a modern integrated container terminal, direct connections to the country's road network, and large lots available for development.
Near Kluizendok, is the new 80-hectare dry port of "Rieme North." Scheduled for completion in 2010, the Rieme North will be devoted to warehousing and distribution services.
The congestion-free container terminals in the Port of Ghent provide minimal turn-around times for both short sea shipping and inland feeder services to Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, and Antwerp. The Port of Ghent offers daily roll-on/roll-off services with Scandinavia and regular roll-on/roll-off and lift-on/lift-off services with the Far East, Russia, Norway, Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.