Piraeus port – a Greek privatisation success story

PRIVATISATIONS have been a key plank of Greek international bailouts since 2010, but have reaped only EUR4 billion (US$4.23 billion) so far versus an original target of EUR50 billion due to political resistance and red tape.

Sale of the control of the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) to China’s Cosco Shipping has been one of the most successful privatization deals struck to date, according to the Seatrade Maritime News of Colchester, UK.

Piraeus recorded the second highest increase in container movements of all European ports in the decade, 2007 to 2016, according to data by shipping portal, porteconomics.com, reaching 3.7 million TEU in 2016 up 167.7 per cent in the period.

The port recorded an 11.7 per cent increase in TEU handled in 2016 compared to 2015’s 3.3 million TEU.

Volumes in 2016 made Piraeus the eighth largest container port in Europe, though far below the three biggest, Rotterdam 12.4 million TEU, Antwerp 10.0 million TEU and Hamburg 8.9 million TEU, but the Greek port’s great potential was underlined by the fact the increase started late 2009, while in 2007 Piraeus was not among the top-15 container ports of Europe.

According to Cosco, 2017 has had a good start and in January Piraeus’ three terminals handled 282,000 TEU an increase of 12 per cent on January 2016.