Port of Antwerp

Barge Traffic System (BTS)

What is it?

BARGE TRAFFIC SYSTEM (BTS) is a web application that has been used since 2007 to simplify management of barge container traffic in the port. This unique platform enables barge operators to request terminal berths in advance. It also enables barge and terminal operators to consult the positions of barges in Flanders and the Netherlands.  Further, with BARGE TRAFFIC SYSTEM (BTS) barge operators can consult nautical messages concerning the port and give advance notice of their trip.

In order to ensure smooth traffic management in the port of Antwerp, BARGE TRAFFIC SYSTEM (BTS) is obligatory for all container terminals and for all barges that load or unload containers. Registration is optional for other barge operators, enabling them to consult the lock scheduling, position information and nautical messages.

How does it work?

Registration in BARGE TRAFFIC SYSTEM (BTS) is obligatory for all barge operators carrying containers. Once they have registered they can request berths in advance at the terminals where they wish to call. To help them with this, in BARGE TRAFFIC SYSTEM (BTS) the barge operators can consult the opening hours, terminal occupation and any nautical limitations for each terminal.

If the barge has to call at several terminals during a port visit, when a berth is requested the built-in conflict control checks to ensure that the requested time of arrival at the particular terminal is feasible, taking into account the estimated handling time and the average time taken to travel between terminals.

Terminal operators also must first register before being able to use BARGE TRAFFIC SYSTEM (BTS) and so to approve, alter or refuse berth requests. In case of a conflict between requests the terminal operators can coordinate their respective operating schedules. These schedules can be sent by the terminal operator to the barge operator via BARGE TRAFFIC SYSTEM (BTS).

Once handling of the barge has been completed, the terminal operator has to record the actual time of arrival and departure as well as the number of containers handled.

What does it cost?

This web application is made available free of charge by the Port Authority.