Port of Piraeus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Port of Piraeus
Port of Piraeus.jpg
Part of the port of Piraeus
Country Greece
Location Piraeus
Coordinates 37°56′31″N 23°38′10″E / 37.941944°N 23.636111°E / 37.941944; 23.636111Coordinates: 37°56′31″N 23°38′10″E / 37.941944°N 23.636111°E / 37.941944; 23.636111
Operated by Piraeus Port Authority
Owned by COSCO Group (51%)
Greek Shipping Union (33.33%)
Government of Greece (15.67%)[1]
Type of harbor Natural/Artificial
Size 3.900 ha (35 sq km)
Employees 3.181[2] (2015)
President Giannis Kouvaris
Vessel arrivals 47,839 vessels (2014)[3]
Annual cargo tonnage 73.1 million tonnes (2014)[3]
Annual container volume Increase6.58 million TEU (2014)[3]
Passenger traffic Increase39.6 million people[3] (2014)
Annual revenue Increase 21.72 billion (2014)[4]
Net income Increase 1.393 billion (2014)[4]

The Port of Piraeus, as the largest Greek seaport, is one of the largest seaports in Europe and the world, located in the Mediterranean Sea basin.[5] The Port of Piraeus served as the port of Athens since the ancient times.[6][7]

Today, the Port of Piraeus is a major employer in the region, with more than 2,500 employees who provide services to more than 40,000 ships and 20.000.000 passengers[8] every year, and is operated by the Piraeus Port Authority S.A., a state-owned company. According to Lloyd's list for top 100 container ports in 2015 Piraeus ranked 8th in Europe and 3rd the Mediterranean sea.This rapid growth is expecting to make Piraeus the biggest commercial port in the Mediterranean by 2016.


The port in 1892.
1913 renovation plan for Piraeus Port.

Until the 3rd millennium BC, Piraeus was a rocky island connected to the mainland by a low-lying stretch of land that was flooded with sea water most of the year. It was then that the area was increasingly silted and flooding ceased, thus permanently connecting Piraeus to Attica and forming its ports, the main port of Cantharus and the two smaller of Zea and Munichia. In 493 BC, Themistocles initiated the fortifications of Piraeus and later advised the Athenians to take advantage of its natural harbours' strategic potential. In 483 BC, the Athenian fleet left the older harbour of Phaleron and it was transferred to Piraeus, distinguishing itself at the battle of Salamis between the Greek city-states and the Persians in 480 BC. In the following years Themistocles initiated the construction of the port and created the ship sheds (neosoikoi), while the Themistoclean Walls were completed in 471 BC, turning Piraeus into a great military and commercial harbour, which served as the permanent navy base for the mighty Athenian fleet. However, in the late 4th century BC began a long period of decline for Piraeus; the harbours were only occasionally used for the Byzantine fleet and the city was mostly deserted throughout the Ottoman occupation of Greece.

Thessaloniki and its port were captured by Wehrmacht troops on 9 April 1941 (the fourth day of the Battle of Greece).


In 2007 the Port of Piraeus handled 20,121,916 tonnes of cargo and 1,373,138 TEU's making it the busiest cargo port in Greece and the largest container port in the country and the East Mediterranean Sea Basin.[3]

General statistics for 2007[3]
Year 2007
RoRo* 1,108,928
Bulk cargo* 606,454
General cargo* 6,278,635
Containers* 12,127,899
Total* 20,121,916
* figures in tonnes


Container terminal[edit]

The building of the Ministry of Maritime Commerce.

The terminal has a storage of 900,000 m2 and an annual traffic capacity of around 1.8 million TEUs.[9]

The container terminal has two piers with a total length of 2.8 km, a storage area of 626,000 m2 and an annual capacity of 1.6 - 1.8 million TEUs.[10]

Pier I is currently expanding and at completion in 2009 it will increase its container traffic capacity to 1,000,000 TEUs.[11]

Pier II is also expanding and will have a container traffic capacity of 1,000,000 in 2012.[12]

There are plans to build another pier, Pier III which at completion in 2015 will have a high density stacking system with a container capacity of 1,000,000 TEUs per year.[13] In the right moment only the east part of the Pier III is constructed.

Upon the completion of the Pier III, the total annual TEU capacity of Piraeus Port will increase to 6,200,000 TEU .[14]

Cargo terminal[edit]

The cargo terminal has a storage area of 180,000 m2 and an annual traffic capacity of 25,000,000 tonnes.

Automobile terminal[edit]

The Port of Piraeus has three car terminals with a total length of 1.4 km, a land area of 180,000 m2, storage capacity of 12,000 cars and a transshipment capacity of 670,000 units per year.[15]

In 2007 the automobile terminal handled 260,605 trucks, 612,840 cars and 9,920 buses.[3]

Passenger terminal[edit]

The cruise ship Costa Victoria at the port of Piraeus.

The Port of Piraeus is the largest passenger port in Europe and one of the largest passenger ports in the world with a total traffic of 21,522,917 people in 2007 and 18,635,495 in 2014.[3]

Passenger traffic between 2003 - 2007 [3]
Years 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Domestic passengers 11,713,269 11,159,274 11,484,763 11,668,647 11,572,678
Ferry passengers 8,397,292 8,393,053 7,977,880 7,636,426 8,395,492
Foreign passengers 823,339 757,552 925,782 1,202,190 1,554,747
Total traffic' 20,933,900 20,255,879 20,388,425 20,507,263 21,522,917

Transportation links[edit]

Piraeus station after the 2003-2004 restoration.

Piraeus station is located next to the Port (37°56′53″N 23°38′35″E / 37.94806°N 23.64306°E / 37.94806; 23.64306), with the southern building the present terminus of Athens Metro Line 1, formerly the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways that opened in 1869.[16] The northern building is the railway terminus for standard gauge railway services on the main axis to Eidomeni via Larisa and Thessaloniki, and the Proastiakos to Chalcis and Acharnes Junction.[17]

Free shuttle buses inside the Port run from across the Metro Line 1 Terminal Station, around the north side of the port to the ships sailing for Crete, the Eastern Aegean and the Dodecanese. A direct Airport Express bus runs 24/7 between the port and Athens International Airport. Other public buses connect Piraeus with its outlying suburbs, the southern coastal zone and with central Athens.


  1. ^ http://news247.gr/eidiseis/oikonomia/epixeiriseis/olp-sta-368-5-ekat-eyrw-h-veltiwmenh-prosfora-ths-cosco.3869888.html
  2. ^ "Port of Piraeus number of employees". Olp.gr. 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "(Container Terminal)" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  4. ^ a b "Reuters report". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  5. ^ "Port of Piraeus container port". Greek-islands.us. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  6. ^ Στρατηγική - Όραμα (in Greek). Piraeus Port Authority S.A. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  7. ^ Hellander, Paul (2008). Greece. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-74104-656-4. 
  8. ^ https://panethos.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/europes-busiest-passenger-seaports/
  9. ^ "Container terminal". Greek-islands.us. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  10. ^ "Port of Piraeus container terminal". Olp.gr. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  11. ^ "Extension of Pier I". Olp.gr. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  12. ^ "Machinery & Equipment upgrade of Pier II". Olp.gr. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  13. ^ "Construction and equipment of Pier III". Olp.gr. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  14. ^ "COSCO's investment of EUR 230 million begins at Piraeus Port". kathimerini.gr. Retrieved 2015-01-23. 
  15. ^ "Car Terminal". Olp.gr. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  16. ^ http://www.isap.gr/eng/page.asp?id=44 Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  17. ^ 2012 Network Statement (pdf), Athens: OSE, 2012, p. 3.3 

External links[edit]