Located on logistical arteries, Wallonia’s river ports in Southern Belgium should benefit from the spin-off effects of growth in container traffic.
A recent Ernst&Young study has estimated the number of jobs that might be generated by container traffic in Wallonia’s river ports through collaborating with the sea ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam: 18,500 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs by 2030 and 37,500 by 2050.
The study, funded by the Dutch and Flemish sea ports, and by AWEX, the Wallonia Export and Foreign Investment Agency, also highlights that these ports will face a number of major challenges in the future: road traffic congestion, higher fuel costs, environmental imperatives and an increase in container traffic transiting through their facilities.
If they are to make investment plans enabling them to meet the challenge of increased traffic, both ports will need to find access routes for shipping goods to the various regions of Europe.
The Wallonian provinces of Liège and Hainaut appear in first and third place respectively in a ranking of Europe’s most attractive logistics regions. Wallonia’s river ports are therefore well placed to take on the role of logistical hub for the two major sea ports and should benefit from the spin-off effects of growth in container traffic.
To achieve this, they will have to rely on the container terminals, and diversify their business into high added value logistics (labelling goods, processing and customs).
From a Belga news agency article appearing in the Belgian financial daily l’Echo – 27/11/2013