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Port of Antwerp: professionalizing cleaning operations

[Spacewell Advisory: specialized expertise and independent advice]


Port of Antwerp, Belgium


Xavier Jordens, Technical Manager Engineering | Facility Manager (Soft / Hard)

  • Structural maintenance (periodic & curative)
  • Building inspections based on NEN 2767
  • Cleaning (approx. 25% of the total maintenance budget)
  • Waste management
  • Staff restaurant exploitation


  • Guided by Spacewell Advisory, Port of Antwerp has evolved from several sub tenders to a single central cleaning tender – with a single external party/SPOC – covering:
    • Cleaning, doormats, carpet and chair cleaning, custom furniture
    • Greenery maintenance (mostly indoor plants)
    • Pest control
    • VSR cleaning quality inspections


Cleaning operations cover:

  • a portfolio of approx. 35 – highly diverse – buildings, ranging from the iconic Antwerp Port House and other administrative buildings to technical buildings (both manned and unmanned, often with 24/7 shifts)
  • approx. 35,000 m² of indoor surface area
Port of Antwerp headquarters
Lady cleaning dektop
Lady cleaning floor with-T300
Worker cleaning floor with machine


Professionalizing cleaning operations: result-oriented outsourced cleaning, with efficient budget utilization and independent quality inspections that make performance objectively measurable and transparent.


Spacewell Cleaning Advisory has introduced an integrated set of tender specifications with a unique calculation model that offers cost structure transparency. The model distinguishes several cleaning speeds per task type (highly frequent/weekly thorough/periodic) and contains both operational and supervisory hours (managing, coaching and guidance). All critical parameters have been incorporated into the model. It contains clear operational SLAs (and possible penalties for failing to meet them), first-line detection, periodic inspections and clear reporting that ensures transparency of the delivered quality.


The calculation model offers financial transparency while Port of Antwerp is in control of the cleaning process and operates on a clear result commitment, recorded in clearly defined cleaning programs.

The cleaning company enjoys a certain degree of autonomy, with the ability to turn the theoretical margin into a better operational margin provided that the agreed quality standards are met.

This mode of collaboration creates a win-win situation for both parties.

Sustainability and innovation receive a fair amount of attention, while the future deployment of sensors in some buildings is explored in order to make the cleaning process more data driven and allow for adjustments to be made based on the actual use.

About Port of Antwerp

Port of Antwerp fulfills an important role in the everyday operations at the port. Its 1,650 employees keep the port functioning and allow it to grow. Port of Antwerp administers and maintains docks, bridges, locks, quay walls, private buildings and the grounds. In addition, the staff is responsible for safe shipping traffic at the docks, bridges, and locks. Plus, Port of Antwerp takes care of tugs, dredging, and both domestic and international port promotion. With the future in mind, Port of Antwerp is working on the sustainable expansion and innovation of the port.

Cleaning has evolved from a subjective feeling to an objective fact. The collaboration with Spacewell has put us in control of the services provided. We are in the driver’s seat, know exactly what we pay for and keep close tabs to make sure that the end-users see the difference.

Xavier Jordens

Facility Manager, Port of Antwerp

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