Oceanic transport is the most important mode of global freight transport, accounting for 80 percent of global trade by volume and over 70 per cent by value1. According to latest studies, container throughput in European ports is growing at 6% annually2, while traffic through South-East Mediterranean ports has been growing at more than 8% annually3. Trade flows between Asia and S.E. Europe are expected to increase by 7% annually for the years to come4.
Greek ports are strategically located and can certainly be transformed into regional logistics hubs for goods travel from Asia to the European Community. The main port of Greece, Piraeus is a large port with significant capacity both as a container port and as a car terminal. It is also close to the main Mediterranean maritime route (210 nm)5 and provides access to a large logistics center in Thriassio and a high-speed cargo train route leading into Europe. All this allow Piraeus to serve both as a transshipment center and a gateway port to Europe.
From 2010 on, the Piraeus container port and car terminal started a recovery path partly due to the arrival of COSCO Pacific as operator of the ‘Pier 2’ facility. Piraeus reappeared in the top 15 European container ports with a total capacity of 3.6 million TEU.Piraeus’ increased volume and competence, its new cargo train connection to Europe and the shorter, direct access to Asia through established shipping routes has established Piraeus as the premium import point from the industrial countries of Asia (China, Japan, Korea, India) to Europe.
Other Greek ports with the capacity to become gateways to Europe include Thessaloniki, Alexandroupoli and Patras.
The opportunities for investment in the Greek logistics sector:
• The growth of the Greek ports as gateways from Asia to Europe
• The planned privatization of such critical logistics assets as the Port of Piraeus (OLP), Port of Thessaloniki (OLTH) and Greek train operator (TRAINOSE)
• Continuous investment in the development of rail and road infrastructure,
• The opportunity for major global manufacturers to use Greece as an assembly, logistics center for their products manufactured in Asia and sold in Europe.
The potential for Greece to become a major logistics, distribution and assembly hub for Europe has been recognized by major investors such as Chinese COSCO, which is already invested in the Piraeus port on January 22, 2015, COSCO inaugurated a new investment of 230 million Euro for the extension of the PIER III of the port. In December 2013, Huwaei establisheda pilot distribution center in the Port of Piraeus whereas ZTE Corp has recently announced that a logistics center will be developed in the Port of Piraeus.
Investing in the Greek logistics sector
Competitive Freight Costs – The geographical position of Greek ports allows the offering of competitive sea freight cost for transported containers,
Transport Infrastructure – Ongoing investment in road and rail infrastructure means that Greece’s major ports are now directly interconnected with modern road and rail links, facilitating intermodal transport of cargo onwards to their final destination quickly and cost-effectively. Under the new European Infrastructure Policy (TEN-T) more than 26 bn € will be invested in European infrastructure, including railway, road, port, airport projects in Greece.
Advantageous Location: Greece is part of the EU’s Orient/East-Med Corridor that connects the maritime interfaces of the North, Baltic, Black Sea and Mediterranean.
Know-how and skilled labor – Greek manufacturing and maritime tradition ensures the availability of skilled logistics and assembly employees for the staffing of local distribution centers.
Efficient global logistics providers: Global 3PL providers such as Kuhne & Nagel, DHL, Schenker, Geodis, Panalpina, and Express are presently operating in Greece. A logistics network funded by the Hellenic Federation of Industries (SEV) has been created, to improve collaboration between logistics providers.
|Trade flow through Greece growth per year||8%|
|Trade flow through Greece 2010||€85 bn|
|Current capacity of Piraeus port (TEU)||3.6mn|
|Planned capacity for Piraeus||4.7mn|