A bit of history

The inspiration for creating BIVEC-GIBET came from the Benelux Port Workshops, which had developed out of student excursions in the 1960's. These Workshops were started at the initiative of the late Professor Henk Kuiler, who at the time held the chair of Transport and Port Economics, at the now-called Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The purpose of these Port Workshops was to convince the younger generation of Benelux transport economics students of the importance of co-operation between major ports in the Benelux, by offering them first-hand knowledge of the people and authorities at work in these ports.

With these Port Workshops one, it was sought to integrate transport economics education via a common action, so that greater insight would make the younger generation of students better prepared for their future transport- and port-related jobs. Building on this objective, BIVEC-GIBET was born in 1977.

During all these years, the number of members has grown steadily and substantively. The activities organized have always been of a high academic level. During the earlier years, BIVEC-GIBET received logistical support from the General Secretariat of the Benelux Union. Considering the way in which the possibilities of the universities themselves have expanded over the years and because of the greater emphasis of the Benelux General Secretariat on policy work, this logistical support has currently been reduced. Cooperation still exists, but on a more limited scale.

In recent years, the task of BIVEC-GIBET has entered into a new era, given the increasing importance of international co-operation in society, and particularly given the European evolution. With the growing harmoniszation of higher education, via the (European) Bologna Declaration and the introduction of the bachelor-master structure, the issue is to underline three BIVEC-GIBET pillars: education/knowledge transfer, scientific research and the institutional framework. BIVEC-GIBET responds proactively to these developments by encouraging the universities and polytechnics in Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands to incorporate transport economics courses into their curricula.

What we do

More information on our activities can be found on the activities-page.


The General Assembly composed of all members of BIVEC-GIBET. It is the highest body of the association and assembles once a year. The board of directors assembles four times a year (click here for the composition of the board). The following people are responsible for the daily management of the organisation:

Prof. dr. Mario Cools - Chairman

Prof. dr. Éric Cornelis - Vice-chairman

Prof. dr. Markus Hesse - Vice-chairman

Ir. Ton van den Hanenberg - Vice-chairman

Luc Van Capellen - Treasurer

dr. Veronique Van Acker - Secretary

dr. Steven Lannoo - Webmaster

Honorary Members

The following persons have been awarded honorary membership of BIVEC-GIBET:

Prof. em. dr. Michel Beuthe (FUCaM), Prof. em. dr. Gust Blauwens (UA), Drs. Ben Hennekam (former Secretary General, Benelux Union), Prof. em. dr. Willy Winkelmans (UA-ITTMA), Prof. dr. Frank Witlox, Prof. em. dr. Jan Simons