Postal address
Postbus 132, 4530 AC Terneuzen

Visitors address
Schelpenpad 2, 4531 PD Terneuzen, Nederland.

Tel: +31 (0) 115 647400, Fax: +31 (0) 115 647500


The history of Zeeland Seaports


Since 1998, the ports of Vlissingen and Terneuzen have been operating under a single port authority: Zeeland Seaports. Naturally, the ports of Vlissingen and Terneuzen also have their own individual histories.


You will find the historical tales (dating back over 800 years) behind the ports of Terneuzen and Vlissingen in the menu on the left.


Discover how the two port authorities became one during the second half of the previous century below. Find out how we became: Zeeland Seaports.


Port Authority of Terneuzen


In 1960, the then Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management announced his desire to manage the Dutch part of Ghent-Terneuzen Canal as one single port area. His focus was on the ports, berths, unloading quays with accompanying works and land on either side of the canal. The goal was to do this via a statutory authority. An organisation where the municipalities bordering the canal could cooperate.


The Port Authority of Terneuzen - Canal Zone Zeelandic Flanders was founded in 1961 for this purpose. All the involved parties were represented. The research committee created a document in 1963 which concluded that that the area demanded a goal-oriented, intensive and flexible port authority. It was their opinion that this could only be achieved through the foundation of a new public body: the Port Authority of Terneuzen.


Port Authority of Vlissingen


The provocation was a document sent by the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, dated 28 November 1961, to the Provincial Executive of Zeeland. This document called for the creation of a research commission to look into a communal solution for managing the port and industrial area of Zuid-Sloe. The commission included members from a number of different parties. On 19 March 1964, the commission presented a draft joint scheme for the formation of the Port Authority of Vlissingen to the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management.


The road to one port authority


Under the Act of 10 September 1970 and the Act of 8 April 1971, the Port Authority of Terneuzen en the Port Authority of Vlissingen respectively were founded. Municipalities, the Dutch Government and the province cooperated on these joint schemes.


The formation of these new port organisations was an immediate success. Over the years, throughput in the Zeelandic Flanders port area grew from 3 million to 11.5 million tons per year. Throughput in the Vlissingen port area increased from just under 1 million to almost 13 million tons per year. The number of jobs in both port areas together rose to almost 13,500.


In 1994, the Dutch Government announced its intention to terminate its participation in the Zeeland port authorities. It also urged for the merger of the two port authorities into one port authority. The merger was formalised in 1998 and the new Port Authority Zeeland Seaports became a reality on 1 January 1998.