World’s first port merger to reconcile economic, people and climate needs

Client situation and challenge

In February 2021 the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge announced their merger based on three strategic objectives: sustainable growth, resilience and leadership in the energy and digital transition.

The Port of Antwerp would continue to develop its handling and storage of containers, break bulk and chemical products. While Zeebrugge (Bruges) would focus on roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) traffic, container handling and the transshipment of liquid natural gas. The integrated port wanted to become a leading hub for the green hydrogen economy.

To maximize its added value, the new Port of Antwerp-Bruges wanted to:

  • Make optimum use of interconnectivity
  • Conduct joint strategic investments (infrastructure, digital technology etc)
  • Develop a unified organizational structure with optimized ways of working

Approach

EFESO Consulting was appointed as a strategic partner to help the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge define the transformation, change plan and governance.

For the first phase of the project, we started by involving and interviewing all key stakeholders (management team, experts, and project teams).

We co-created a workshop that would define the strategic programs, and then developed: a transition plan, future governance, and defined and implemented focused improvement initiatives.

Result

  • Good understanding and constructive collaboration on the N-1 level
  • Agreement on the transformation roadmap
  • Agreement on transformation governance
  • Kick-off of the first transformation project