News : Hong Kong shipping services provider Cosco Pacific is to increase container ca pacity at its terminals in the p ort of Piraeus, Greece, according to the Journal of Commerce. The company is reportedly in advanced negotiations with the Greek authorities to build a fourth pier at the port, representing an investment worth around US$297mn. Cosco operates two of the port ' s three piers, having paid around US$5bn for a 35-year concession in 2009.
BMI View: Greece's outward-looking shipping sector remains partially protected from the full force of the domestic crash. The country's largest container port, Piraeus, is projected to record a double-digit box throughput increase of 20.9% in 2013, while total tonnage throughput is also expected to rise (by 10.3%). This reflects new investment, the port's role as a gateway into Europe, and growth in Greek foreign trade in 2013 (forecast at 2.6% in real terms - the first positive number after four years of steady falls). Throughput at the country's second largest port in terms of total tonnage, the Port of Thessaloniki, is forecast to grow by 3.4% y-o-y while box traffic there will gain 6.3%.