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Greece’s Piraeus Port Among World’s Top 10 Shipping Centers

Aerial view of the port of Piraeus, Greece
Greece has clinched a top-10 position among the world’s largest shipping centers with the port of Piraeus securing the eighth spot. Credit: Nikolaos Diakidis cc by-sa3

The port of Piraeus in Greece has risen to eighth place among the world’s largest shipping centres, according to the latest data from the Xinhua-Baltic Index.

Piraeus in the Athens metropolitan area is home to the globe’s largest fleet management. It has made significant progress, climbing to eighth place among the top shipping centers worldwide compared to the previous year.

The analysis underscores the significant role played by the Athens-Piraeus region. It supports over 5,500 ships belonging to the world’s largest shipping nation, through a network of more than a thousand offices.

The Xinhua-Baltic index assesses various factors, assigning a twenty percent weight to port operations, fifty percent to shipping offices and services, and twenty percent to the overall business environment.

Leading the rankings for a decade, Singapore retains its top position as the world’s largest shipping center in 2023, with London, a global hub for maritime arbitration and services, securing second place for the fourth consecutive year. Shanghai, China’s shipping epicenter, maintains its hold on third place, followed by Hong Kong and Dubai in fifth.

Europe’s two busiest ports, Rotterdam and Hamburg, claim the sixth and seventh spots, while Athens/Piraeus has overtaken New York this year. The top ten is rounded out by Ningbo-Zhoushan and New York in the USA.

Greece’s Piraeus port part of world’s top 10 largest shipping centers

The high world position of this Greek port is also confirmed by the indicators of previous years. In 2021, the Port of Piraeus achieved historic profitability, reporting over $40 million in after-tax profits. This is a notable 39.4 percent increase from 2020. Before-tax profits also rose by 33.3 percent to amount to $54.1 million. The annual profit margin reached $169.5 million, which is up by sixteen percent from the previous year.

Key areas of the port experienced significant growth, with notable increases in TEU handling, vehicle throughput, and facilitated cruise vessels. The Chairman of the Piraeus Port Authority, Yu Zenggang, praised the company’s resilience and commitment to its strategic plan.

EU Financing for Ports in Greece

As reported in January, four major Greek ports, including Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, and Igoumenitsa, have secured EU financing for significant infrastructure upgrades. These projects have received approval and funding from the Connecting Europe Facility 2021 – 2027 fund.

The port of Piraeus is set to improve port facilities, offering electricity to ships with hybrid propulsion technology. Additionally, it will implement digital technology for Just-in-Time (JIT) arrivals and launch the SMILE project for sustainable logistics using digital data.

In the northern region, the port of Thessaloniki will utilize funding to restore minimum depths and enhance infrastructure. In the northwestern port of Igoumenitsa, energy infrastructure will be developed in the hopes of reducing the port’s carbon footprint, including supplying electricity to docked ships.

On the southern island of Crete, the port of Heraklion will improve its container terminal and provide electricity to ships carrying controlled temperature containers.

Additionally, the port of Alexandroupolis in the northeast will undergo essential infrastructural improvements to restore minimum depths in the port channel, accommodate large warships, and enhance road connectivity.

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