Since 1998 the ports of Vlissingen and Terneuzen have been operating under a single port authority: Zeeland Seaports. Before this merger, the ports were managed separately. Read on to find out how this came about.
Terneuzen port authority
In 1960 the then Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management announced the intention to manage the harbours, quays, unloading sites and associated works and land along the Dutch section of the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal as a single port area. This was to be done by means of a public body, within which the municipalities located along the canal would work together. For this purpose a study committee for the Port Authority of Terneuzen - Canal Zone Zeeuwsch Vlaanderen was set up in 1961, in which all the parties involved were represented. The study committee wrote in 1963 that purposeful, intensive and flexible port management was required, which could only be achieved by forming a Port Authority for Terneuzen.
Vlissingen port authority
Following a letter from the Director-General of Public Works and Water Management dated 28 November 1961 to the Provincial Executive of Zeeland, a study committee was set up to examine a joint scheme for managing the Zuid-Sloe port and industrial area. Various parties were involved in this committee, which presented on 19 March 1964 a draft joint scheme for the formation of Vlissingen Port Authority to the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management.
Under the Act of 10 September 1970 and the Act of 8 April 1971, the Terneuzen Port Authority and the Vlissingen Port Authority respectively were formed. Municipalities, the Dutch Government and the province cooperated within these joint schemes.
The formation of these new port organisations was an immediate success. Over the years, throughput in the Zeeuws-Vlaanderen port area grew from 3 million to 11.5 million tonnes per annum. Throughput of the Vlissingen port area increased from just under 1 million to almost 13 million tonnes per annum. The number of jobs in both port areas together rose to almost 13,500.
A single Port Authority
In 1994 the Dutch Government announced its intention to end its participation in the Zeeland port authorities. It also urged for the merger of the two port authorities into a single port authority. The merger process was formalised in 1998 and the new Zeeland Seaports became a reality on 1 January 1998.