Piraeus port set to boost GDP

The benefits of conceding Pier II at Piraeus to Chinese company Cosco, which has resulted in the growth of a competitive environment at the port, where Pier I is controlled by the Piraeus Port Authority, are becoming ever clearer, with the growth registered in container traffic at the port over the last three years pointing to added value reaching up to 5.1 billion euros by 2018, or 2.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to a study by National Bank published on Thursday.

Traffic in Piraeus, which accounts for 90 percent of the Greek market, has more than trebled in the last three years, climbing to 2.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2012 from 850,000 TEUs in 2010, against an increase of no more than 20 percent at rival ports in the Mediterranean.

As a result, Greek ports that handle containers absorbed 5.5 percent of all traffic in the Mediterranean in 2012, against just 2 percent in 2010.

The report suggests that as the flow for the domestic market is expected to remain steady, the port’s further growth – after the new Pier III, which will also be controlled by Cosco, goes into operation this summer – will come from international container management (transit), which already comprises three-quarters of Piraeus’s traffic.

The growth in the port’s operation is also expected to create as many as 125,000 new jobs in the local economy by 2018, the National Bank study estimated.

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