Coronavirus - No reason to panic

10 Mar 2020 / Antwerp, Belgium

Although several European countries have announced their first coronavirus cases, there is no reason to panic. So far no cases of the coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, have been reported in the Port of Antwerp, and so normal operation of the port is not impacted as yet.

Apart from the standard procedures, no additional measures are advised. Port of Antwerp constantly follows the recommendations of the WHO, EU, Federal Department of Health (Saniport) and Federal Department of Mobility and will keep you informed of any changes in these.

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.

Read more about Covid-19 on the website of the Federal Department of Health at

As a result of the Coronavirus, there are currently around 20% fewer sailings in China. Worldwide, it is expected that it will lead to a 1% reduction in container transport throughout 2020.

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 corona 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 US. Last year, container volumes from Antwerp to China grew by 16% to 1.39 million 20 foot containers (TEU).

(For information about operations in Belgium, contact GAC Belgium at [email protected])

Source: Port of Antwerp ( press release dated 9 March 2020

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