ECONOMY

Cosco subsidiary handled almost 3 mln containers at Piraeus in ’14

A total of 2.987 million containers were handled last year by Piraeus Container Terminal, Chinese company Cosco’s local subsidiary, at the second and third container terminals of Greece’s largest port, according to figures released yesterday at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where Cosco Pacific is listed.

The annual growth in containers handled amounted to 18.5 percent from 2013, when terminals II and III had handled just over 2.51 million containers.

On a monthly basis PCT handled 254,600 containers in December, against 237,100 a year earlier, which constitutes a 7.3 percent yearly rise. Notably there was a significant slowdown in growth in the last quarter of 2014, when it came to 6.6 percent year-on-year. This compares with a 28 percent rise in Q1, 25.6 percent in Q2 and 17.1 percent in Q3. It is that Q4 slowdown that prevented the total number of containers handled from clearing the 3-million barrier.

When the 650,000-700,000 containers handled at Terminal I, operated by Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), is added the end total for the country’s main port comes up to almost 3.7 million containers. This amount goes some way toward approaching the estimated maximum capacity of the port, at 4.7 million containers. This is why Cosco has in recent years insisted on expanding its presence in Piraeus through the creation of another terminal.