Cluster Tours

Digital Logistics Tour

Cluster or IBN Description


VIL aims to enhance the competitiveness of Flemish companies in the logistics sector by implementing sustainable and innovative concepts and technologies. Enabling Flanders to retain and strengthen its position as a top region for logistics in Europe.

Our goal is to create economic and social value for companies. 

 VIL represents around 600 companies and works along leading strategic partners and a network at home and abroad


09:00: departure from FMCCA, Antwerp

09:30: presentations by VIL on the background of the logistics cluster organization, its projects and role in the IoT for the logistics ecosystem.

10:15-12:15: visit of Ahlers, “Digital Transformation in Logistics Services @ Ahlers” and presentation by NxtPort “Building the Ports of the Future. Together” @Ahlers

12:00-13:45: network lunch

13:45-14:30: transfer

14:30-15:15: Visit of DP World, one of the biggest terminal operators in the world. In Belgium, DP World operates the Antwerp Gateway terminal located at the Deurganckdock on the left bank of the river Scheldt. The terminal  boasts a capacity of 2.8 million TEU and is equipped with gantry cranes, Automatic Stacking Cranes (ASC) and a large amount of straddle carriers. The terminal is renowned for its superior productivity, advanced technology and intermodal connectivity.

15:15: departure to Antwerp, FMCCA


Case of VIL


VIL is Flanders’ sole innovation spearhead cluster for logistics.  As spearhead cluster for logistics it is also a membership organization that harbours some 600 logistics stakeholders, of which about 2/3rds are SMEs. It is the region’s reference when it comes to company-oriented innovation in logistics and will remain so for the coming decade supported by a Covenant with the Flanders government. 

The primary focus lies with projects and their subsequent valorisation, focusing on maximal implementation of new concepts and direct contribution to the businesses’ cost-effectiveness.

Internationalization will form a key strategy in supporting the overall spearhead cluster objective. Subsequently, VIL is increasing its international efforts and focuses on co-ordination and collaboration with international cluster organizations and coaching its cluster members while participating in European projects itself or support its members by directly joining various consortia.

Members of VIL / Companies


For more than 100 years Ahlers has been helping clients with logistics and maritime services all over the world. Today, it offers services in six areas: international forwarding; trade facilitation; project logistics; warehousing with value added services; supply chain optimization and maritime training and project through its subsidiary company BIMV.  Key industries are: Oil & Gas, Tobacco, Chemicals, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, EPC and Steel.

All over the world, Ahlers pro-actively looks for improvements in their customers’ supply networks, constantly makes efforts to shorten lead times and reduces costs as well as CO2 emissions using smart technology.

nxt port.png


Data is a crucial factor in the development of smart logistics processes. Those who have the right data at the right time can use this knowledge to make their processes more efficient. In the context of a port there are thousands of processes that run concurrently: goods must be transferred swiftly from barge to quay, from quay to truck, or from ship to another seagoing ship. All the players in these processes have relevant data but for too long this data has been inadequately shared, resulting in delays and other inefficiencies. 


NxtPort is a data utility platform that will collect and pool data from various stages in the supply chain. The platform will allow for better data sharing, which will in turn lead to more transparency and efficiency, and easier interoperability between existing platforms.

NxtPort's main goal is to unlock the potential of sharing existing data amongst the port's players. The NxtPort Data Utility Platform will allow for faster, more cost-effective, as well as more efficient transfers of data between the different players. The platform will also allow for more transparency in the whole shipping process. NxtPort aims to increase operational efficiency, safety and revenue. A second means to unlock the huge value at stake is to allow for market applications to be built upon the existing data. This way, the data currently existing within the port will not only be shared in a better way, the combination of existing data will lead to innovative solutions as well. They will create new business and fresh revenue streams for the Port Community and its individual players.


DP World

DP World Antwerp is a leading stevedore in the Port of Antwerp, offering a wide range of high quality container services.

DP World is one of the biggest terminal operators in the world. In Belgium, DP World operates the Antwerp Gateway terminal located at quay 1700 at the Deurganckdock on the left bank of the river Scheldt, one of the major container terminals in the Port of Antwerp.

By loading and unloading containers from all over the world, they are an important trade enabler between shipping lines and transport via road, water and railways. DP World Antwerp uses state of the art technology, advanced cranes and an extended straddle carrier park to deliver optimal service, always focused on sustainability and the environment.

Dress code

No special requirements.

Attention: don’t forget your identity card (for the visit of DP World).