The second largest container port in Greece, the port of Thessaloniki can – once upgrade works are completed and infrastructure put into place – boost activity in the Balkan region and Southeast Europe.
According to a report by PortEconomics titled “Calls, Connectivity, Liners and Alliances at Thessaloniki Container Port”, Thessaloniki Port – privatized last year with the new owner committed to investing 180 million euros into the project – will soon be able to stand up against competing ports in terms of size and capacity.
Indicatively, according to the report, the port is connected with 15 ports in eight different countries. “With only one call register in two of these countries, it is safe to conclude that these have been extraordinary calls”.
Most of the direct connections are with other ports in the Greece (46.5 percent) and with ports in Turkey – second in terms of number of linkages at 32.5 percent. More than half of the calls to Thessaloniki port are by container ships traveling from Piraeus, which is the country’s biggest container port, the second largest in the Mediterranean Sea, and maintaining better connectivity with major container ports in the Far East and China.
On its part, Thessaloniki port is well connected with hubs in Izmir, Gemlik, Ambarli and Asyaport in Turkey, and Marsaxlokk in Malta.
In terms of calls per alliance: 2M Alliance vessels account for 35.9 percent of the total calls, followed by Ocean Alliance (25.7 percent) and 38.5 percent others. However, the report notes that none of “THE Alliance” members use the port of Thessaloniki.
Meanwhile, last year, President and CEO of the Thessaloniki Port Authority, Sotiris Theophanis, said infrastructure works budgeted at 180 million euros may be ready ahead of the time schedule laid out in the concession deal, inked in 2017 between Greek assets fund TAIPED and South Europe Gateway Thessaloniki (SEGT) Limited. He said these would be in place in four or five years’ time.