In 2011, about 50 million tonnes of water-borne cargo is handled in the seaport of Ghent.
Two thirds of this is transported on board of seagoing vessels. Those vessels mainly import and export ores and metal residues, foodstuffs, animal feed, fossil and bio fuels, wood and forest products, building raw materials, chemicals, minerals and cars.
An important part of the seagoing traffic that calls at the port of Ghent is traffic between European ports, called short sea shipping. Moreover, there is a major liner service between Ghent and Santos in Brazil.
Inland navigation takes up the remaining third. Striking is that petroleum products, building materials, fuels and grain are increasingly transported by inland waterways.