Port of Antwerp has noted the serious consequences of Coronavirus, which has led to around 20% fewer sailings from China, with a global effect of a 1% reduction in container transport throughout 2020, according to the Belgian port.
In the port of Antwerp, based on preliminary forecasts, it is estimated that a month of traffic to and from China will be lost as a result of the Coronavirus 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 United States.
However, the Port of Antwerp remains calm, as so far no cases of the coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, have been reported in the port, and so its normal operation is not impacted as yet. The port said it constantly follows the recommendations of the World Health Organization, European Union, Federal Department of Health (Saniport) and Federal Department of Mobility.
“All incoming ships must present a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH), which the master must submit 24 hours before entering the port, stating whether there are any actual or suspected cases of illness on board together with a list of the last ten ports. The ship is checked for this by Saniport. If there are any suspicions, the ship may be obliged to remain off the coast and a doctor may go on board. The ship will not get a pilot and will not be permitted to enter port,” said the Port of Antwerp.