As a main exponent of primacy in the Mediterranean and a “bridge” of three continents, the always majestic, noisy, and highly active port of Piraeus – one of the largest in the Mediterranean and Europe – has made significant leaps in recent years.
The port’s privatization, coupled with political decisions such as the lifting of cabotage, has released Piraeus’ force, increasing its commercial prowess and international status in the last decade.
Piraeus is gradually becoming a top Mediterranean port, significant to trade, tourism and the supply chain at ta global level, while it continues to connect the many Greek islands with the mainland.
The Piraeus Port Authority (OLP SA) financial results for 2021 – amid a global COVID pandemic – confirmed a historic record in profits, as all sectors recorded double-digit increases year on year. Having said that, the port has not yet realized its full potential as an international logistics hub, retaining a huge potential for further upgrades.
Large-scale projects aimed at modernization have already transformed Piraeus from a regional port to a major hub in the Mediterranean and one of the five top ports in Europe, next to the traditional leaders such as Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg. In fact, from ranking 93rd in the world in 2010, it now occupies the 29th position.
The transit time for a containership travelling from China to Piraeus is estimated to take 8-9 fewer days compared to ports located in North Europe, making Greece a highly competitive and attractive destination. Moreover, rail transportation from Piraeus to Central Europe via N. Macedonia and Serbia will take two days – much faster than it takes a commercial ship from Asia to reach Rotterdam or Hamburg via Suez, the Mediterranean, Gibraltar, Spain and France.
Crucially, Piraeus combines a number of activities, including cruise porting, ports for containers and car carriers, which significantly aid the local economy and industry. According to an IOBE study, the OLP privatization potentially adds an estimated 4 billion euros annually to Greece’s GDP, while it is set to contribute 20.7 billion euros to the economy in the 2016-2025 period (including taxes, social security contributions, wages, dividend payments, etc.).
The COSCO Shipping Group have invested over 1 billion euros in the Port of Piraeus to date, creating over 3,000 direct and over 10,000 indirect jobs in the process.
Annual turnover in 2021 amounted to 154.2 million euros, profit before taxes to 49.2 million euros and profit after taxes to 36.8 million euros.