TugeZine | all about tugs

On 6 May 2020, the Joint Nautical Authority (made up of Rijkswaterstaat and the Flemish Agency for maritime and coastal services – Coastal Division), North Sea Port and local nautical service providers expanded and intensified their existing work agreements in the interest of greater shipping efficiency and a more reliable planning for the total nautical chain and the ports

This also included an expansion of the current management area: in addition to the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal, this area now also includes the Sloe Area and Braakmanhaven as well as local anchorages. The number of parties to the work agreements has also been expanded to include, more specifically, the boatmen.

TugeZine | all about tugs

Focus on the vessel

Activities along the fairway and in the port area of North Sea Port occasionally create peaks in shipping traffic, which in turn may lead to inefficiencies.

The safe, streamlined and timely settlement of shipping traffic calls for optimised collaboration between all parties involved. The primary focus in this process will be on the vessel. It is up to the client to indicate the ship’s intended arrival and departure times for its port destination. And it is up to the port, the responsible authorities and the nautical service providers to accommodate these interests.


Port planning plays a key role in the planning of shipping traffic. Over the course of different phases, information can be expected to become increasingly relevant and plannings increasingly reliable. Whether or not a planning is realistic and accurate is determined by the data provided by the different clients. The partners’ shared level of ambition has been bolstered by the introduction of the strategic planning phase, in which the chain partners will also be able to coordinate their long-term capacity planning and respond more effectively to expected peak situations, poor weather conditions and congestion and delays.

Transparent and reliable

The port and chain planning will be drawn up on the basis of a realistic scenario that takes due account of all known and relevant factors such as vessel characteristics, restrictions in terms of infrastructure, nautical preconditions, the traffic situation and weather conditions.

Deviations from the definite chain planning during its implementation are not allowed to cause delays for other vessels. Each party involved will be provided with the necessary information via a joint platform as well as its own systems.

Joint Nautical Authority (GNA)

In response to significant developments within the management area – when Nieuwe Sluis Terneuzen is taken into operation, for example, or the evolution of shipping traffic – the GNA may choose to adapt and optimise the work agreements in consultation with the partners.

Next step

The next step involves the translation of the work agreements into concrete guidelines in the procedural manual, to create clarity for the different workforces and to serve as input during the required system adaptations.

The final objectives continue to be a transparent planning and optimised shipping.

The work agreements are possible in part thanks to the support of Boluda Towage Europe, DABLoodswezen, De Eendracht, the Joint Nautical Authority, Montis Mooring, Multraship Towage & Salvage, North Sea Port, Regionale Loodsencorporatie Scheldemonden, Verenigde Bootlieden Terneuzen and Vlissingse Bootliedenwacht.

Boluda Towage Europe

Boluda Towage Europe provides tailored towage services to clients in major ports in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The company is part of Boluda Towage Group, a family business that has established itself as one of the leading providers of maritime services worldwide. The group can be found in 90 ports across the globe, operating a fleet of over 300 tugboats in 15 countries in Europe, the west coast of Africa, America and the Indian Ocean. For further information, visit www.boluda.eu or www.boluda.com/es

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