Cosco unveils express cargo shipping to Europe via port of Piraeus

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A new service called “China-Europe Sea-Land Express Cargo” is billed by Cosco Shipping Lines as cutting transport time for cargo carried by its container ships to final European destinations by as much as seven days.

The new service prominently features the Cosco-managed Piraeus Port Authority, which owns the port of Piraeus, as a main component in its “fast-track” cargo routes. The initiative is closely linked to Beijing’s ambitious and highly promoted “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

The service was unveiled in tandem with the unveiling of the global shipping giant’s H1 2017 results, with confirmed that that state-controlled and Shanghai-based multinational returned to “black” this year so far.

According to Cosco Shipping Lines, a subsidiary of the Cosco Shipping group, the plan is to increase capacity along the ports of countries participating in the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. Other data given by the shipping company is that it operates 131 vessels with a cargo capacity of 1.2 million Teu.

Cosco Shipping aims to connect its maritime routes with the China-Europe Railway Express, essentially developing a one-stop service provider connecting the “Silk Road Economic Belt” with the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, all part of China’s wide-ranging global trade and investment plan.

It’s within this mixed transport system that the company activated its China-Europe Sea-Land Express service, with containers shipped from China to central and east Europe via the port of Piraeus.

Meanwhile, parent company Cosco’s revenues for the first half of 2017 reached 43.445 billion RMB (yuan), up significantly from 29.840 billion RMB in the corresponding period of 2016.

Profits towards shareholders reached 1.863 billion RMB, a momentous improvement from the 4.490 billion RMB posted in H1 2016, which the company ascribed to improved conditions in the liners market and more effective corporate operation.

Source: Naftemporiki / By L. Karageorgos

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