New ING-study ‘A kaleidoscopic view of the future of the Rhine-Scheldt delta port system’

ING presented a new study ‘A kaleidoscopic view of the future of the Rhine-Scheldt-Delta port system’, a research report on the major challenges for maritime transport in the Rhine-Scheldt delta. In doing so, ING not only profiles itself as a financier of the sector, the banking company wants to share its expertise around transport and logistics so that customers can make informed choices around hot topics such as sustainability and nearshoring.

Evaluation of the major challenges in the delta

“This study evaluates the major challenges facing the ports of the Rhine-Scheldt area, which includes Antwerp and Zeebrugge,” says Professor Theo Notteboom (University of Antwerp). “It focuses on five themes: ports and international trade, competition in a European context, ports and maritime supply chains, port authorities and sustainability. About 13 theses are posed on the different themes with arguments for and against.” Topics that have strongly occupied the sector in recent months, such as the nearshoring debate and the sustainability debate, are covered, as are the mutual competitive position of ports and the search for space for expansion. However, it has not become a theoretical piece of work. “These analyses are market-oriented and target an audience of professionals from the transport and logistics sectors,” says Notteboom.

ING profiles itself as a knowledge partner

With this study, ING wants to profile itself as a knowledge partner of companies in the transport and logistics sector. Bram Debruyne, responsible for the Transport and Logistics sector in Belgium at ING, explains the set-up of the study: “ING distinguishes itself through the combination of local anchoring and ‘global reach’. We want to place our sector knowledge in an international context. Transport and logistics is one of the core sectors that ING closely supports. We also want to show this sector expertise clearly to the professional public. With this study – the eighth in the series – we want to offer solutions and provide clients with tools to assess risks. The latter can be important when lending, for example.”

That sustainability features so prominently is no coincidence. “ING is a pioneer in financing sustainable solutions,” says De Bruyne. “We are trendsetters with products such as our ‘Sustainable Improvement’ loans, which should enable customers to meet their green goals.”


After a ‘sneak preview’ in November 2022, the study was presented to the wider public in Antwerp in January 2023. In addition, the study will be presented to international decision makers via webinars.

This article by Yannick Haesevoets appeared first (in Dutch) in Transportmedia – December 13, 2022

Find more details about the ING-report in our library

A publication prepared for ING by Prof. Theo Notteboom (UAntwerpen)

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Maritime transportPort logisticsPort sustainabilityRhine-Scheldt deltaSupply chains