Port of Antwerp says there is no reason to panic over Covid-19

So far no cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the Port of Antwerp, and normal operation of the port has not yet been impacted. Apart from the standard procedures, no additional measures are advised, the port has said.

Currently 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 10 ports called at.

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.

The port said that as a result of Covid-19 there were currently around 20% fewer sailings in China. Worldwide, it was expected that it would lead to a 1% reduction in container transport throughout 2020.

In the port of Antwerp, based on preliminary forecasts, it was 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.