Port of Koper, source: Luka Koper

Major delays for rail freight at the port of Koper

Source: Luka Koper

Unprecedented congestion at the port of Koper in Slovenia has put its rail freight connections on hold. Trains cannot enter or exit the port terminal while services have to be rescheduled or cancelled.

Metrans is one of the companies which are heavily impacted by the situation. A few days ago the company had to cancel four train pairs due to the delays, while for the rest of the services it had to come up with a reorganisation plan to keep them running.

“The capacity of the cancelled trains cannot be substituted,” mentioned the company, which fears that after this development, it will have to face more delays in the transit time of its trains. On top of that, it warned its customers that it cannot guarantee the timely delivery of containers on export vessels, which could lead to extra storage costs for the shippers.

After a record year

This continued delay has nothing to do with the port’s stellar performance last year. In 2021, the largest port in the Adriatic region had an annual throughput of 997,477 TEUs, breaking the previous record of 988,501 TEUs set in 2018, an increase of 6% compared to last year.

In addition to the major European ports, the Port of Koper has extensive rail connections with Slovakia, one of the transit stations of the China-Europe Express, one to Dunajská Streda (the frequency of this line is up to 14 times a week), three to Bratislava, and with three to Žilina in the northwest. In addition, the port has established a friendly port relationship with Ningbo Port. It is expected to become an important hub for sea-rail combined transportation connecting Central and Eastern Europe.

The operator of the port of Koper, Luca Koper, invested 456 million euros last year, bringing the port’s annual capacity to 1.5 million TEUs. The company is also working with COSCO SHIPPING, hoping to expand the port to increase capacity to 2 million TEUs.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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