About this location
The Portaal van Vlaanderen is a huge complex of locks in the port of Terneuzen, the third largest port in the Netherlands. The East, Middle and West lock form the essential link between the Westerschelde estuary and the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal. Each year about 70,000 ships pass through making it one of the busiest canals in Europe.
The port is continuously developing and fulfils an important international role in import, export and cargo transfer. Around 250 companies are directly or indirectly connected to the port of Terneuzen for processing imported raw materials or transporting imported products further into Europe for example. These companies account for around 20% of the employment in Zeeland.
‘While the road traffic is automatically redirected, one of the bridges opens. From deep in the bowels of the bridge, a huge counterweight starts to move as the seemingly cumbersome lock gates open and close effortlessly. Nimble tug boats sail to and fro; barges register at the central traffic office and you can nearly reach out and touch the impressive, enormous ships as they go by…”
At first sight, the dynamic port of Terneuzen is a huge incomprehensible tangle of technology. If you want to know more, we can recommend a visit to the information centre in the Portaal van Vlaanderen.
The Portaal van Vlaanderen Foundation informs visitors about the dynamics of the port of Terneuzen. You can see how the locks work. You can learn about inland and sea-faring shipping and understand how important this port is for the economy.