The central position of Brussels on the axis of the canal going from Antwerp to Charleroi makes it essential for collaboration with the two other Regions with regard to the optimisation of the performance of this inland waterway, in order to promote modal transfer towards the waterway.
Moreover, as the transport and logistics problems largely exceed the institutional borders of the Region and its 19 municipalities, a dialogue with the other Regions and the Federal Government is essential in order to develop coherent policies for optimising surface transport of goods on the metropolitan territory by encouraging modal transfer towards the railways and waterway.
A concrete example of a joint project in a promising sector is that of the Watertruck project seeking the development and the optimisation of transport of goods on the small-gauge inland waterways by means of a new shipping concept coupling the shipping of non-motorized barges (in particular for the evacuation of building-site mud and earth).
At another level, a stronger co-operation agreement between the Ports of Brussels and Antwerp was signed in 2010 in order to maximise the container traffic between the two ports.
Within ST4W, the Port of Brussels is carrying out a pilot project to test and deploy the IT tools. This project will involve first of all using the existing infrastructure, namely the Belgian and Brussels water network, for the transport of palletised building materials in large quantities (<900 pallets or <1 000 tonnes palletised) from a production area to Brussels and then redistributing these goods from the Brussels Urban Transhipment Centres (CTU) located respectively in the Basin Vergote (CTU North) and the Bassin Biestebroeck (CTU South). The second objective of this project is to carry out real-time monitoring of the flow of goods from the producer to the end customer with the aim of reducing the number of kilometres travelled in pre- and post-transport as much as possible.
The Region and the Port work together to reinforce the role of the Port of Brussels as a node within the multimodal European RTE-T networks.
For this reason, the Port has played a leading role in the transnational “Connecting Citizen Ports 21 (CCP21)” co-operative project, of which the 2011-2015 partnership with the Ports of Lille, the Port of Paris, the Port of Liège, the Province of Utrecht, the Port of Switzerland and the Basel-Mulhouse-Weil Rhein Ports has enabled connectivity and durable transport to be promoted by a better logistical organisation of freight and a more durable space development of the inner ports.
Moreover the Port generally follows the initiatives and regulations which are taken at the European level, among others in order to support the development of waterway transport in the context of an integrated multimodal vision.
The Port’s European and international integration is based in particular on the active role which it occupies within sectoral associations such as the European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP), the International Association of Cities and Ports (IACP), the Permanent International Association of the Congresses of Navigation (PIACN), etc., as well as by more specific actions such as participation in international events or co-operation agreements.