Now that Cosco Shipping has secured a foothold in Piraeus, China is expected to activate plans to route the new Silk Road through the country’s largest port, making Greece the gateway to the rest of Europe and setting the Greek logistics sector on the path toward expansion.
Already a series of investments in the sector are about to be completed, as the loads reaching Piraeus port, Greece’s largest, require an efficient and competitive route to domestic and European markets.
On Thursday, DB Schenker, a subsidiary of German rail company Deutsche Bahn in the market of integrated logistics, launched new 6,000 square meter installations at Aspropyrgos, western Attica.
A few days earlier, DHL Express Europe – a subsidiary of Deutsche Post – inaugurated its new logistics space at Athens International Airport for its courier service.
Sources say that, in the coming weeks, railway property manager Gaiaose will nominate the ETBA VIPE-Goldair consortium as the temporary contractor for the concession of a 588,000 sq.m. plot at Thriasio, also in western Attica.
At the same time, Cosco is in contact with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane – which has won the tender to buy out Greek railway service operator Trainose – with the aim of cooperating at the Thriasio freight center, where Trainose reserves the right to use the huge storage spaces of buildings K1 (56,000 sq.m.) and K2 (139,000 sq.m.). Following Cosco’s recent takeover of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), the Chinese giant’s chief, Xu Lirong, recently revealed that his group will set the construction of logistics facilities as a priority, including a 5-million-euro investment in an underground road link between the commercial port and a 90,000-sq.m. plot belonging to OLP, providing the option of further development of the logistics activities.
These are just a few pieces of Greece’s logistics jigsaw, with the industry showing it could add up to 0.8 percent of gross domestic product per annum, for a total of 20.7 billion euros in 2016-25, according to studies by National Bank and the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE). Another study, by the Hellenic Logistics Company and the University of the Aegean, put Greece in 44th place in the global logistics market, with great prospects for growth.