ATHENS – Greece’s major port of Piraeus, operated by the Chinese management firm COSCO, saw a 28.02 percent increase in revenues in the first nine months of 2022, thanks largely to more cruise ships docking.
The Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) said that amounted to 145.8 million euros ($145.64 million) compared to 113.8 million euros ($113.68 million) in 2021 when recovery from the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was slow.
But the New Democracy government essentially ended health restrictions this year to lure tourists and COSCO’s efforts to modernize the port – in the face of resistance from local businesses not wanting competition – paid off.
Gross profit was around 83.1 million euros ($83.01 million) in the same period, up from 55.8 million euros ($55.74 million) in the first nine months of 2021, a hike of 46.06 percent, said the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
“The number of cruise ships that called at the port in the first nine months of 2022 is up by 87.9 percent compared to the first nine months of 2021 (511 versus 272),” PPA said.
A 207.6 percent increase in passengers in the first nine months of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021 (632,642 passengers compared to 205,700 in 2021), was also recorded, the report also said.
China’s COSCO Shipping acquired the majority of PPA shares in 2016 after an international tender. The company’s subsidiary, PCT, has managed the port’s container terminals since 2009.