Following the installation of Luka Koper’s first long-reach post-panamax crane, which arrived late last week, the second one was delivered to Koper’s container quayside yesterday morning. It is of the same type and manufacturer as the first – Liebherr of Ireland. Both cranes are anticipated to commence operation in early September.
Further to the acquisition of new cranes – another two of which are due for delivery this autumn – the prime objective behind the construction of a 146-metre extension to Pier I and the infill of lagoons for container storage has been to maintain and enhance Luka Koper ’s competitive edge. The requirements of shipping companies as to terminal capacity are becoming ever larger, and this new investment bore fruit in June when Maersk Line and CMA-CGM jointly established a new direct service between Koper and the Far East. Today it can be seen that this infrastructure acquisition was of crucial importance in continuing to achieve a vigorous performance in container throughput; indeed, in this recession other ports are facing a considerable downturn.
During the first seven months of this year, Luka Koper handled in total 8.73 million tonnes of cargo, which is nineteen percent down on the same period last year when the company achieved a record throughput. The Container Terminal recorded 191,632 TEUs, a four percent fall on the same period last year but three percent above expectations. Overall performance is for the most part afflicted by vehicle throughout, which is off by more than fifty percent on last year’s level. Contrary to this trend, liquid cargos are up by twenty-one percent, while perishables and timber have also witnessed an above average performance. Summer is a relatively quiet period in maritime trade, but the projections for this autumn remain promising.