Belgium lies in the heartland of the industrialized nations of Europe, was second only to England to begin the industrial revolution, and has long been a cross-roads for northern European commerce and an oft-fought over prize dubbed “The Battleground of Europe.” Its economy is heavily globalized in nature and it ranks 15th in trade volume world-wide, not bad for a nation of only 11 million! Its main exports are: food, metals, polished diamonds, chemicals, and machinery. Its main imports include: raw diamonds, pharmaceuticals, oil-based products and transportation equipment.
Both the Belgian economy and infrastructure system are highly connected to the rest of Europe. Land, sea, and air shipping are well developed and second to few, if not second to none, in the world.
Belgium has over 118,000 km (73,000 mi) of road which are managed largely by the regions of Flanders in the north and Wallonia in the south. The road signs of the northern sections are in Dutch and those of the southern section in Walloon, making it a difficult and confusing situation for the uninitiated, even when referring to cities in the opposite zone.
“Ringways” (circle roads) surround the nation’s major cities: Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Kortrijk, Leuven, Bruges, and Mechelen.
The rail lines of Belgium extend for 3,000 km (1,800 mi), are electric, and integrate the nation’s freight shipments with Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and Germany. Major urban rail networks exist in Antwerp, Brussels, and Charleroi.
Brussels Airport is the largest of Belgium’s 43 airports. Only five of these airports do heavy traffic: Brussels, Ostend-Bruges International, Antwerp International, Liège Airport, and Brussels-South Charleroi Airport.
Two of Belgium’s sea ports, Antwerp and Bruges, are among the busiest in Europe, but ports at Ghent and Ostend are also major shipment centers. Brussels, though inland, has an ocean-accessible seaport due to upriver traffic from the North Sea, and Liege is a major land-locked river port (among the busiest ports in its class on the continent).
There are abundant resources and intense competition when it comes to shipping freight, containers, and other cargo into and out of Belgium. At OTSFF®/ OTS®, we know the details of the geography, infrastructure, warehousing, and customs policies. We can assist those wishing to ship goods within Belgium in finding the lowest-cost and overall best option. Contact us today, and we can begin to make arrangements with the most trust-worthy shipping companies that do business in Belgium to ensure the efficient and safe transport of your goods.
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