For a very long time, the river Meuse has underpinned the birth and the development of the Liege Region.
The operation and management of the Port of Liege complex in its current form is a comparatively new development but the city has witnessed river traffic coming and going for thousands of years. As early as the 10th century, Liege was engaged in trading activities with the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom and Germany. The century’s most prized items arrived in Liege via the Meuse: wine from Alsace and France, spices from the East, luxurious carpets, Byzantine fabrics, while goods created by local activities travelled in the opposite direction: furs, stones, slate, grains, wool, sheeting, brass parts.
Liege has therefore long been a hub of shipping activities! The relationships forged thanks to the Meuse helped the river to exert a powerful attraction. These relationships made a huge contribution to the prosperity of the Principality of Liege, while making a major impact on the people living in the city. From the Huy hillsides to the Lower Meuse, via Liege, the river has enabled the Principality to provide opportunities for meetings and exchanges throughout the centuries.
As a port, Liege acts as a host for hundreds of companies of all shapes and sizes.
As a result of ongoing cooperation between the private and public sectors, the Liege Port Authority is an effective value-adding tool for promoting new ideas.
A state-owned corporation established pursuant to the Law of 21 June 1937, amended by the Law of 10 January 1969, the Liege Port Authority is responsible for managing 31 ports along the river Meuse and the Albert Canal. Its main tasks are:
- carrying out all infrastructural extension and improvement projects (levelling, sewers, drains, street and industrial lighting, driving power, road and rail connections, water, telephone, etc.) required for the economic viability of the sites;
- granting concessions and permits to third parties;
- collecting user fees primarily so as to cover the operating costs (wages, port maintenance, …) and help pay for infrastructure operations along with the support of the MIT (Walloon Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport) ;
- fitting out ports and regulating their use (halls for storage / handling, cranes, cargo hoists, on-land equipment, etc.);
- regulating the movement and berthing of vessels in state-owned ports;
- maintaining, at its own expense, all port structures;
- collecting all amounts resulting from the operation and management of the ports, in particular: the amounts from renting out movable and immovable property, collecting tolls, fees, wharf charges, the amounts from renting out sites and equipment, hangars, generally speaking any amount from using structures covered by its jurisdiction;
- any other operations that might be assigned to the Liege Port Authority pursuant to royal decrees and decrees of the Walloon Government.
In its capacity of private company, the Liege Port Authority is responsible for its income and expenditure.
It enjoys a high degree of independence in taking any decisions it thinks are valid for its sustainable management.
Facts & figures
The Port of Liege offers:
- 26 km of quay berthing;
- Port sites covering 369 ha;
- A covered dock of 1 ha
- Regular direct links with the United Kingdom for coastal vessels of between 1,000 and 2,500 t;
- Roll on/roll-off quay;
- Accessibility for vessels from the Rhine (2,500 t) and two-barge tow boats (4,500 t);
- Off-shore docking facilities;
- Storage tanks for oil products (194,000 m³);
- 97 cranes and gantry cranes, ground handling equipment;
- 35 weighbridges;
- 70 large-scale storage/handling warehouses covering a total of roughly 15 ha;
- 2 container terminals;
- Grain silos with a total capacity of 50,000 m³;
- Sand and gravel hoppers with a total capacity of 60,000 t.
- Special charges for rail traffic
- Customs areas
- A marina
- Port services available at all times