A 10-year record in container traffic recorded by Thessaloniki Port Authority in 2017 reflects a trend for an increase in domestic consumption, Constantinos Mellios, chairman of the company told ANA on Wednesday.
“We have no data for the quality analysis of cargo traffic for the time being, but obviously this is a first indication that enterprises are increasing turnover helped by an increase in domestic consumption,” Mellios told ANA, adding that total container traffic (in TEUs) grew more than 18 pct in 2017 compared with 2016, despite continuing strike action by workers in customs.
Mellios said that container export traffic grew 21.9 pct in the January-November period, while transit traffic (to Balkan markets) jumped 32.6 pct in the same period. Container imports rose 4.88 pct in the 11-month period while transit rose 15.4 pct. He stressed that Thessaloniki Port could have reached the 2007 record of 444,000 TEUs if customs workers had suspended their strike.
The 2017 performance of 401,745 TEUs is the second best in the last 20 years, he said.
Expanding facilities in the sixth pier is the basic element of an investment programme of the DIEP GmbH-Terminal Link SAS-Belterra Investments Ltd consortium, which is expected to take over the management of the port in the next few months after completion of a process to sell 67 pct of Thessaloniki Port in December. Consortium officials have reiterated that the company’s commitment to invest at least 180 million euros in the next seven years in Thessaloniki Port would be completed sooner, in the next four years.