Container traffic at Greece’s biggest port in Piraeus contracted 4.4 percent last month, according to data published by Chinese operator Cosco, which showed that the port handled 309,000 cargo containers this July compared with 323,300 in the same period last year.
However, experts note that the dip is not remarkable considering that July 2016 was that year’s second-best month after August – when Piraeus Port handled 329,600 containers – showing an increase from July 2015 of 15.2 percent, despite the imposition of capital controls the previous June.
On a seven-month basis, cargo traffic at the port showed an upward momentum according to Cosco’s figures, reaching a total of 2.1 million cargo containers handled from January to July, compared with 2 million in the same period last year. The first six months of the year also marked a new record, with 1.75 containers handled against 1.68 in the first half of last year.
Meanwhile, construction on Piraeus new West Pier III is expected to be wrapped up within the next few months, increasing the port’s handling capacity from a current estimate of 3.7 million containers to 6.2 million. If this target is achieved, it will put Piraeus among the world’s 30 biggest ports, from 38th place where it is in the rankings today.