DCT Gdansk terminal, source: DCT Gdansk & fot.aeromedia.pl

Gdansk and Piraeus most dynamic container ports in Europe

The seaports of Gdansk and Piraeus have shown enormous growth of container traffic in the last 13 years: by around 2,040 per cent and 312 per cent. Such figures make them the most dynamic container harbours in Europe. At the same time, the list of the first three busiest leaders remains almost constant. These positions are being held by the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerpen and Hamburg with some competition between the latter two harbours.

In 2019 the ports of Gdansk and Piraeus handled over 2.07 million TEU and around 5.7 million TEU respectively. According to the ranking published by analytical agency PortEconomics, they took the 15th and 4th position in the ‘Top 15 of container ports in Europe in 2019’. The Polish harbour was included in this list for the first time: it took the 16th position in 2018 and the 63rd position in 2007. Meanwhile, the Greek port showed the highest dynamic, over 15 per cent, compared to the 2018 data. In 2007 Piraeus, operated by China’s COSCO Group, was the 17th busiest container port in Europe.

European leaders

Besides the two mentioned ports in Poland and Greece, the list of PortEconomics includes 13 other harbours from nine countries: three from Spain (Valencia, Algeciras, Barcelona), two from Germany (Hamburg, Bremerhaven), two from Italy (Genoa, Gioia Tauro) and one from the Netherlands (Rotterdam), Belgium (Antwerpen), the United Kingdom (Felixstowe), France (Le Havre), Malta (Marsaxlokk) and Russia (Saint Petersburg).

The positions of the first three key European container ports have been almost constant for the last 13 years. In 2019, Rotterdam handled over 14.8 million TEU (1st place in 2019, 2018, 2007), Antwerpen around 11.9 million TEU (2nd place in 2019, 2018, 3rd place in 2007) and Hamburg around 9.3 million TEU (3rd place in 2019, 2018, 2nd place in 2007).

The other participants of the ranking took the following positions: Valencia handled over 5.4 million TEU (5th), Algeciras over 5.1 million TEU (6th), Bremerhaven around 4.9 million TEU (7th), Felixstowe around 3.8 million TEU (8th), Barcelona over 3.3 million TEU (9th), Le Havre around 2.8 million TEU (10th), Marsaxlokk over 2.7 million TEU (11th), Genoa over 2.6 million TEU (12th), Gioia Tauro over 2.5 million TEU (13th) and Saint Petersburg over 2.2 million TEU (14th).

Polish records

It is worth to note that four Polish seaports (Gdansk, Gdynia, Szczecin, Świnoujście) have set new records in container handling in 2019. Their combined container traffic was around 3.05 million TEU last year. The largest share is traditionally held by the Port of Gdansk with over 2.07 million TEU. This amount was almost entirely handled by DCT Gdańsk (Deepwater Container Terminal Gdańsk), the largest and the deepest container terminal in the Polish seaports.

The second-largest intermodal facility, the Baltic Container Terminal (BCT), is located in Gdynia. It also reached a new milestone last year by handling over 0.5 million TEU. DCT Gdańsk is owned by PSA International while BCT is operated by International Container Terminal Services based in Manila, Philippines.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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