Port of Piraeus
|Port of Piraeus|
Part of the port of Piraeus
|Operated by||Piraeus Port Authority|
|Owned by||Cosco (33.33%)
Greek government (33.33%)
Greek Shipping Union (33.33%)
|Type of harbor||Natural/Artificial|
|Size||3,900 ha (35 sq km)|
|Vessel arrivals||47,839 vessels (2014)|
|Annual cargo tonnage||73.1 million tonnes (2014)|
|Annual container volume||6.58 million TEU (2014)|
|Passenger traffic||39.6 million people (2014)|
|Annual revenue||€21.72 billion (2014)|
|Net income||€1.393 billion (2014)|
The Port of Piraeus, as the largest Greek seaport, is one of the largest seaports in the Mediterranean Sea basin and the world. The port is also a major employer in the area, with more than 2,500 employees who provide services to more than 40,000 ships every year. Port of Piraeus has been the port of Athens since Archaic times.
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.
In 2007[update] 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.
- * figures in tonnes
The terminal has a storage of 900,000 m2 and an annual traffic capacity of around 1.8 million TEUs.
Pier II is also expanding and will have a container traffic capacity of 1,000,000 in 2012.
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. 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 .
The cargo terminal has a storage area of 180,000 m2 and an annual traffic capacity of 25,000,000 tonnes.
Piraeus station is located next to the Port ( ), with the southern building the present terminus of Athens Metro Line 1, formerly the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways that opened in 1869. 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.
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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Piraeus harbor.|
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- "Container terminal". Greek-islands.us. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
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