The Port is first of all the sole manager of the Brussels port estate. It is what is called a “landlord port”: the Port remains the owner of its land and it grants contracts to its customers, who develop an economic activity in the port estate. With a total of approximately 200 customers, the Port of Brussels is a major economic player for Brussels. The duration of the concessions granted by the Port varies according to the tenant’s investment, and can reach 30 to 40 years for customers deploying activities with a high level of investment.
For the plots of land located along the canal, the Port imposes the use of the waterway on its customers for their activity. Preferential rates are thus granted to customers according to their tonnages transported by water. Conversely, penalties can also be imposed on customers that fail to meet their river transport commitments.
The Port also manages the TIR Logistics Centre, a vast storage complex located in the immediate vicinity of the downtown area, and in which the Port can make its customers flexible and competitive offers for their storage needs.
Contrary to the great majority of other European ports, the Port of Brussels is also the manager of the waterway. This public service mission is delegated to it by the Brussels Region, which finances it completely.
This mission involves not only the management of the two lift bridges of Brussels (Bridge of Buda and Bridge of the Hospices) and of the two locks (Molenbeek and Anderlecht), but also the maintenance of the quays and the banks of the 14 kilometres of waterway, and the essential dredging for the optimal maintenance of the waterway.
For the realisation of these missions, the Port can count on its Technical Department and on the operational services of the Harbourmaster’s Office.
Logistics Facilitator and Promoter of Enhanced Urban Distribution
A more recent mission of the Port is that of logistics facilitator for the Brussels Region. The Port is thus the Region’s logistical expert, with the main aim the support of a modal shift from the road towards the more respectful environment-friendly modes of transport which are waterway and rail.
For this mission, the Port collaborates closely with Brussels Mobility and makes a transport expert available to companies interested in modernising their logistical flows, who can advise them free-of-charge.
It is within the context of this mission that the Port works in particular with a better last mile logistics, thanks to the development of urban distribution centres (UDC) and urban transshipment centres (UTC) in the port installations.