Postbus 132, 4530 AC Terneuzen
Schelpenpad 2, 4531 PD Terneuzen, Nederland.
Tel: +31 (0) 115 647400, Fax: +31 (0) 115 647500
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The port of Vlissingen
The maritime history of Vlissingen dates back many centuries. Already in the 13th century, the port of Vlissingen had a bustling trade in skins, salt, herring, tar and wool. At the time, Vlissingen was also infamous for its privateering and piracy.
From medieval port to 19th century canal
One of the oldest ports is the 'Voorhaven'. This port, created during the Middle Ages, is still intact and is currently used by the pilot boats. The Nije, Engelse or Vissershaven dates from 1455. Privateering, trade and crafts made of Vlissingen a flourishing town in the 16th century. The slave trade also played an important role in Vlissingen's prosperity. Ships from Vlissingen sailed the seven seas and contributed to the global power that was the Seven United Provinces.
The Golden Age was followed by a historic low in Vlissingen’s history. During the Napoleonic occupation, Vlissingen became a poor and destitute town. The situation improved at the end of the nineteenth century when the Dutch Government decided to extend the canal through Walcheren, construct two inner ports and the Buitenhaven, and construct the railway line between Vlissingen and Bergen op Zoom.
Increased activity in Vlissingen
One of the companies to play an important role, and one which continues to do so, is 'De Schelde' shipyard. This shipyard opened in 1875. Increases in activity meant that the Buitenhaven was too small after the First World War. The bigger and better Buitenhaven was put to use in 1931. NV Haven van Vlissingen, a stevedoring company, was founded In 1934. This company was taken over by Verbrugge Terminals in 2002.
Vlissingen found itself yet again down on its luck following the Second World War. However, reconstruction was quick. The first port in Vlissingen-Oost, Sloehaven, was put to use in 1964. Numerous new ports have been constructed since. As of 1964, several major companies have established in the port area. These include companies like Hoechst Holland NV, Pechiney Nederland NV, Total Raffinaderij Nederland NV, Elf Atochem Vlissingen BV and Eurogas Terminals CV.