The amount of container traffic handled at Piraeus port grew 14.2 percent in the first seven months of this year, with 2 million containers being moved through piers II and III, which are operated by Cosco, compared to 1.76 million over the same period last year. The Chinese giant took control of Pier I on August 10 and growth is expected to be even greater over the rest of the year. This puts Cosco’s local subsidiary Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) in line to meet or exceed its target of moving about 3.2 to 3.3 million containers over the year, from 3 million last year.
PCT’s monthly figures keep posting new records. In July, for example, 323,300 containers were moved, from 280,600 in July 2015, up 15.2 percent, which marks a record since Cosco began operations in Piraeus. June showed similar growth, with 314,000 containers moved. PCT officials note that if the railway line on the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had not been blocked by refugees and immigrants for several weeks, even more containers would have been moved.
PCT contributed the most toward Cosco’s growth of traffic outside China (a 27.4 percent rise to 7.46 million containers) over the seven-month period, as the Suez Canal Container Terminal showed a drop of 19.7 percent to 1.45 million containers.