Employment & labour safety

The port is important to the Flemish economy and local employment. These figures show that the sustainable economic growth is also generating a growth in employment.

©Bron: Nationale Bank van België
Verified data

Total employment (direct and indirect)

The port of Antwerp is the largest employer in the region, with almost 145,000 full-time jobs (FTE, 2019). Of these, 64,121 FTE (2019) can be directly linked to port activities, with industry and goods handling being the most important sectors. In addition, a further 80,203 FTE (2019) staff are indirectly employed in a job linked to the port.

©Bron: Nationale Bank van België
Verified data

Direct employment per cluster

In direct employment, the maritime and industrial clusters remain the largest. Of these three clusters, the maritime cluster has recorded the strongest growth in the past two years, although the other two are growing as well.

Employee residence

The number of jobs at the port is growing. There was even growth once more in 2018 and 2019. Job creation is one of the port's major economic assets. Companies at the port are in search of good employees as well. This is why numerous efforts are being made to fill up shortage professions and enhance the training offering.


Enthusing young people is important. An image investigation shows that this target group sees less potential in a job at the port. Nonetheless, research shows that there are a great many opportunities at the port for young and diverse talent. We would like to work on this, along with partners such as the Port Centre for the Province of Antwerp.


©Bron: CEPA

Number of accidents at work PC301.01

Safety is a top priority. Every company at the port is throwing its weight behind this. Everyone working at the port can play their part. This year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Voka and MLSO are paying extra attention to the reduction of accidents at work in the theme of SDG 3 (safety).

Number of accidents at work with absence for Port of Antwerp-Bruges

Both the number of accidents at work, with and without absence, and the number of days absent fell at Port of Antwerp-Bruges in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.


We achieved a figure of 5.33 in the accidents at work index in 2020, compared to 6.42 in 2019. This index shows the total number of accidents at work and their seriousness.


Covid-19 changed a great many working conditions in 2020, which should be taken into account when interpreting this data:

  • the number of hours of exposure was higher in 2020 than in 2019 because the port remained fully operational at all times and fewer holidays were taken
  • non-urgent help was postponed, which has an impact on the number of days absent
  • there were far fewer cyclists due to remote working, which also reduced the number of accidents in commuter traffic.
©Bron: Port of Antwerp-Bruges & CEPA

Average number of sick days per employee for Port of Antwerp & PC301.01

These figures follow general social trends. Age is the most important influence factor; raising the retirement age has influenced the figures at PC 301. In addition, several cyclical effects and a rise in the number of people in permanent employment are also in play. The more shortages, the less sickness, which may explain the fall at PC 301 in 2017.

Grafieken©Source: National Bank of Belgium
Verified data

Ratio of men / women

In the maritime sector, the number of women remains limited (20.9 percent). There are even only 11.6 percent women in industry. The port

currently attracts mainly men, but the number of women has seen a small rise in recent years. On the one hand, the high number of men in the port sector can be explained by the male tradition of the Joint Committee for Dockers (PC 301). On the other, technical and operational roles at the port's companies are mainly attracting male candidates.