COSCO PACIFIC's Greek port of Piraeus has become the Mediterranean's third biggest container port in 2013, reports Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA), Italy's national news agency.
Piraeus Container Terminal (SEP) handled 2.52 TEU at Terminals II and III last year, against an estimated 2.4 million TEU, said the report.
Added to the 644,000 containers handled at Terminal I, operated by the state-owned Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), Greece's biggest port handled a total of 3.16 million TEU, a year-on-year increase of 20 per cent on top of 2012 year-on-year increase of 77 per cent. OLP gained three per cent in 2013 year on year.
Once Cosco's new investment at the western section of Terminal III is complete, the capacity of the whole of Piraeus port complex will rise from 4.2 million TEU to 6.2 million TEU a year, said the report.
In 2012, Piraeus ranked fourth in container volume, with Valencia in first place, handling 4.46 million TEU and Algeciras in second while Turkey's Ambarli (Istanbul) ranked third.
While much Suez Asian cargo goes to northern Europe where road and rail links are numerous and strong, railway links are superior through Piraeus to Central Europe, saving six days of transit, said the ANSA report.
This is taking place during a period when traffic at Northern Europe's three biggest ports - Rotterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp - is on the wane, said the report.
Piraeus also boasts a ro-ro terminal, which is already showing major growth, as the Mediterranean is a key European gateway for Japanese, South Korean and Indian cars.
Source : HKSG.