Chinese Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP) has set its eyes to make the Port of Piraeus, Greece's major port, the largest port in the Mediterranean in one and a half years, at the same time that freight traffic is expected to increase by 35% within this year only.
Validating its name as the world's fastest growing port, the port has more than tripled its cargo transport over the last years, according to Zhang Anming, deputy general manager of COSCO Shipping's subsidiary PCT at Piraeus, as quoted by the Athens-Macedonian news Agency (ANA). Namely:
- Container traffic increased by 6.4% in 2017 compared to 2016, from piers II and III of the port of Piraeus,
- In 2017, 3,691 million containers were transported (TEUs) compared with 3,471 million in 2016,
- In 2018, it could surpass the five million.
Piraeus is the centre of the European maritime, explained Mr. Anming, with rail transport of containers from Piraeus to Central Europe lasting two days. This is more quickly than the time that a merchant ship from Asia needs to cross Suez, the Mediterranean and sail through the straits of Gibraltar, Spain and France, to dock and unload in the ports of Rotterdam or Hamburg, he explained.
COSCO is determined to further upgrade Piraeus as the central gateway for Euro-Asian trade since it is the first European port after Suez. The head of the PCT also noted that Cosco's acquisition has contributed to the development of the port, generating about 1,600 jobs.
"We are optimistic about the cooperation between Greece and China. With good cooperation, these two countries can do everything. We hope that this cooperation will be further enhanced. Greece is not only a gateway to Europe, but to the world. China has already helped the Greek economy and will continue to support it as much as it can,"
...the PCT head said to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.