The custom-built facility contains twin sheds, each of which can accommodate 20-25 cars during one cycle. The anticipated cycle time for one treatment is between two to three hours – significantly shorter than the fumigation treatment time, which is 30-33 hours.

Designed for cars, vans, light commercial vehicles and small tractors, the Zeebrugge heat treatment facility reaches temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius.

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“There are lots of benefits to heat treatment for our customers,” says Hendrik Sohier, Manager Terminal Operations. “Heat treatment has a much shorter treatment time compared to fumigation. No toxic fumes are used, and the facility is located in the terminal, which avoids additional logistical challenges and reduces cost.

“In recent weeks, we’ve seen customers move cargo to Zeebrugge because they prefer heat treatment over fumigation. Essentially it’s a more technically advanced solution, and the sheds used become even more practical when temperatures start to drop outside.”

The Zeebrugge heat treatment facility has now been officially approved by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, which means it will undergo routine audits and inspection in the months and years ahead.