Zeeland Seaports is the port authority for the many harbors, quays, and berths in the Terneuzen-Vlissengen area. Zeeland Seaports is an independent non-profit organization resulting from the 1998 merger of the ports of Terneuzen and Vlissingen. Zeeland Seaports' area of responsibility covers the Borsele, Terneuzen, and Vlissingen municipalities who are shareholders, with the Province of Zeeland.
Zeeland Seaports constructs, manages, and maintains the wet and dry infrastructure for the Ports of Terneuzen and Vlissingen. Zeeland Seaports is authorized to buy land, contract the land, collect port fees, and write and issue port regulations. It develops and manages harbors, quays, railways and roads, pipelines, communications networks, and utilities supporting shipping and boating. Zeeland Seaports also helps develop investment plans for the region.
Zeeland Seaports' main objective is to generate prosperity for the region by developing and managing the ports. It does this by attracting new port and industrial interests and to support existing industries.
Zeeland Seaports consists of the Port of Vlissingen at the north site of the Western Scheldt and the Port of Terneuzen at the south site. With an open connection to the North Sea, Zeeland Seaports is located between Rotterdam and Antwerp.
In 2008, Zeeland Seaports handled 33.2 million tons of sea-borne cargo and 28.7 million tons of inland cargo. It served over 6.4 thousand sea-going vessels and almost 21.5 thousand inland vessels. Sea-borne cargoes in 2008 included 24.8 million tons of imports and over 8.4 million tons of exports.
Imports handled by Zeeland Seaports in 2008 included 9.3 million to ns of dry bulk, 8.4 million tons of liquid bulk, six million tons of general cargo, 1.1 million tons of roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and 79 thousand tons of containerized cargo. Zeeland Seaports handled exports that included 2.9 million tons of dry bulk, 2.6 million tons of liquid bulk, 1.6 million tons of general cargo, 1.1 million tons of roll-on/roll-off cargo, and 92 thousand tons of containerized cargo.
Imports passing through Zeeland Seaports were dominated by oil products (6.9 million tons), agricultural products (4.6 million tons), and solid fuels (3.5 million tons). Zeeland Seaports also handled chemical products (2.1 million tons), minerals (2 million tons), fertilizers (1.5 million tons), metal products (1.4 million tons), ores and metal residue (1.1 million tons), and other goods. Exports passing through Zeeland Seaports in 2008 included fertilizers (1.9 million tons), other goods (1.4 million tons), and solid fuels (922 thousand tons) as well as smaller volumes of metal products and ores.
Zeeland Seaports covers a total area of some 4.4 thousand hectares and contains about 250 companies. Maximum draught at Terneuzen is 12.5 meters, and maximum draught at Vlissengin is 16.5 meters. Zeeland Seaports can handle the largest ocean-going vessels, and the ports also handle short-sea and inland ships and barges that serve the huge inland water-borne distribution network in Europe.
Zeeland Seaports' Port of Terneuzen, at the entrance to the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal, covers two thousand hectares. The lock system can accommodate vessels to 265 meters long with 34 meters width and draft of 12.5 meters. Each year, Zeeland Seaports' Terneuzen port welcomes 2500 ocean-going ships carrying more than 14 million tons of cargo that includes dry and liquid bulk, oil, oil products, fertilizers, minerals, metals, and ores.
Zeeland Seaports' Port of Vlissingen is located in Vlissingen-Oost (East Flushing), and the harbor contains industrial as well as cargo-handling facilities. Zeeland Seaports' port of Vlissingen covers 2400 hectares and imports large volumes of raw materials for industrial plants that distribute their products all over Europe. Some 4300 sea-going vessels carry over 16 million tons of cargo to Vlissingen each year.
These Zeeland Seaports cargoes include automobiles, containers, refrigerated goods, forest products, oil and oil products, dry and liquid bulk, chemicals, fertilizers, minerals, metals, and ores. There are two major shipyards in Vlissingen: the Heerema Vlissingen serves the offshore oil and gas industry, and Royal Scheldt is involved in ship-building and repair.
Today, general cargo makes up the bulk of throughput in Zeeland Seaports, particularly in Vlissingen. However, Zeeland Seaports has facilities and equipment to handle all types of cargo.
Zeeland Seaports is constructing new container terminals to keep pace with the worldwide growth in containerization. Sea Invest/Zuidnatie opened in 2008, offering 60 hectares for handling containers at Scaldia Harbor. The Zeeland Seaports' Western Scheldt Container Terminal, coming into service in 2012, will cover 300 hectares and have two kilometers of quays. The Kloosterboer is a new 12 hectare container terminal located at Westhof Harbor.
Zeeland Seaports' Vlissingen port has long experience handling food products that include fruit, fruit juice, fruit concentrates, fresh produce, and meat. These products are unloaded and stored for distribution throughout Europe. Vlissingen is also an important gateway for the export of fresh vegetables grown in The Netherlands, France, and southern Europe to Russia and other destinations in the north. There is a Food Village in Vlissingen with several private storage and handling facilities that also blend, pack, and reprocess cargoes. The Food Village terminals have 2200 meters of quays and can accommodate vessels with up to 10.5 meters draft.
Zeeland Seaports' Vlissingen port also contains state-of-the-art facilities for receiving vehicles. The facilities include rail loading facilities and three jetties with six berthing stations for ocean-going roll-on/roll-off vessels. In 2005, Zeeland Seaports handled more than 460 thousand new cars.
Two stevedoring companies, Cobelfret and Verbrugge Terminals, handle most of the cars for Zeeland Seaports. The Cobelfret facility expanded its terminal area to 100 hectares to accommodate its own ferry service traffic in 2006. Other roll-on/roll-off services in Vlissingen also handle trucks and trailers between Zeeland Seaports, the United Kingdom, Baltic Sea ports, and Spain. The Vlissingen facilities also handle large roll-on/roll-off cargoes like heavy equipment and project cargo.
The Zeeland Seaports facilities at Terneuzen and Vlissingen handle dry and liquid bulk cargoes at dedicated private facilities that load/unload, store, and distribute the cargoes inland. Their main customers are the industries located in the canal zone. Much of these cargoes are raw materials and products for chemical and processing companies.
In the canal zone and the Braakman Harbor, the Zeeland Seaports' deep-water berths in Terneuzen offer excellent facilities, infrastructure, and services supporting industrial activities. Dow Benelux (Dutch), the largest Dow Chemical plant outside the U.S., is located at Terneuzen. Valuepark Terneuzen (Dutch) is a joint venture between Zeeland Seaports and Dow covering 140 hectares available to chemical producers and logistics and service providers that store and transport chemicals. Among the industries that have located in the Valuepark are Yara Sluiskil (Europe's largest producer of ammonia and fertilizers), Nedalco (producing alcohol and bio-ethanol), and Cargill (making modified food starches).
Much of Zeeland Seaports' activities support the traditional industries and chemical companies. However, Zeeland Seaports' role is gradually shifting from industrial support to logistics. With a wider range of facilities, the container business is benefitting from Zeeland Seaports developments planned for the future. Zeeland Seaports is also focusing more on clustering services and companies within port areas so that it can provide the best infrastructure and supply and distribution options for its customers.