Container traffic grows in Piraeus

first_imgThe sale of Piraeus port authority to the Chinese Shipping Corporation COSCO may have caused turmoil in Greece, but for the company, the past weeks have been business as usual – and business has been flourishing. According to a report issued by COSCO Pacific in Hong Kong, container traffic has been constantly growing at the terminals operated by the company. The first quarter numbers are a clear indication, showing a rise of 3.2 per cent compared to last year, as Kathimerini reports. From January to the end of March, Piraeus Container Terminal handled 275,100 containers, while by the end of March 2015, the number was 266,500. Overall, COSCO announced that terminals II and III handled 9.6 per cent more containers in the first quarter of the year on an annual basis, reaching a figure of 807,000.According to company officials, this rise is due to the significant increase of containers destined for forwarding by rail to countries in Central and Eastern Europe. While this category had come to just under 2,500 containers in 2014, last year it reached up to 8,000 units and in the first quarter of this year it had come to 5,000 containers.COSCO has been operating one of the port’s container terminals since 2009 and is investing €230 million to build a second container terminal at the port, which is a gateway to Asia, eastern Europe and north Africa. The current capacity of terminals II and III stands at 4.3 million units per year, but with the addition of the new Western Terminal III, the PCT-managed installations will see their capacity expand to 6.2 million containers on an annual basis. COSCO’s target for 2016 is to reach 3.3 million containers, compared with 3.03 million in 2015 and 2.98 million in 2014. The recent €1.5 billion acquisition deal includes €368.5 million for the 67 per cent of the Port Authority by COSCO, plus €350 million worth of future investments. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img