As the two ports said in a joint statement, the negotiations on the possible merger could last another two years.

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The ports specifically said that a report of Deloitte and Laga state that the current cooperation between the two ports has little impact due to the existing competition, limited scope and low engagement.

It also found out that a further collaboration would give the ability to ports to respond to future challenges, like digitalization and a transition to more green forms of power.

Today, Antwerp is Europe’s second largest port, as it handles 235 million tonnes of goods per year, Reuters reports. As for Zeebrugge, it specializes in Ro-Ro transport, handling an annual 40 million tonnes of goods.