The research and advisory London-based organisation Drewry, specialised in the global maritime sector and transport, published a best-route market study for containerised imports from China to South Germany in March.

When it comes to a route, shippers look for the best combination of cost, transit time and resilience. For the purpose of the study, a 40ft high-cube container is shipped from Shanghai to Munich, the industry capital of Bavaria. Northern range ports (Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp), Ligurian ports (Genoa, La Spezia) and Trieste and Koper in the Adriatic were included in the study. The study was based on current connections (available maritime and rail services) and freight rates, the factors that, according to Drewry, are constantly changing. Freight rates and connections that she shippers adapt to market conditions are of key importance. For example, Rotterdam currently has 15 weekly connections with China while Koper and Trieste have 3. Koper has strong position in the hinterland traffic of the Eastern part of the EU, in particular Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Czech Republic. On average, 22 container trains are dispatched from and to the Koper Container Terminal every day.

The study showed that Koper has the fastest overall transit time and it therefore is a true contender for Best Route, in particular for shippers with time-sensitive cargoes. Compared to Hamburg, Shanghai-Munich via Koper is available in 29 days at a price of $2,036 per 40ft high-cube container which is three days faster and at an extra cost of only $100.

“Overall transit time is one of the key factors in the growth of container freight which last year recorded a seventeen percent year-on increase whereas the container throughput in 20 largest European ports decreased on average by 2.6 percent. However, good service and infrastructure are two other factors to be considered in addition to transit time, and Koper provides them by constant modernisation of the container terminal,” says the Management Board President Dragomir Matić.

Container freight in the Port of Koper has been constantly rising also in 2016. In the first three months, the container throughput recorded an 8.7 percent year-on increase and another monthly record with a total throughput of 73,755 TEUs was broken in March.