Koper, 31st December 2013 – In the morning of the last day of this year, Luka Koper handled the 600,000th TEU at the Container Terminal and thereby reached an important milestone in the port's development. Further to this, it seems that the total annual cargo throughput will amount to 18 million tonnes which is also a record. The official statistics will be published in January.
The origins of Koper's Container Terminal reach back to 1979 when a 150-metre operative quayside and one crane commenced their operation. Already in 1980 the cargo throughput amounted to 37,831 TEUs. With the exception of early 1990s when due to the troubled Balkans the transport via the port dramatically decreased, the cargo throughput has slowly but consistently grown. The global containerisation in logistics after 2000 resulted in an exponential growth throughout the world, Koper included. Following the quayside extension and the acquisition of greater capacity cranes the cargo throughput in 2010 rose by 38 percent which strengthened the position of Koper as the largest container port in the North Adriatic.
Container throughput in the Port of Koper (TEUs):
New key investments to maintain competitiveness
Luka Koper continues with the investments to increase the capacity and optimise the terminal's operations. The investment in the construction of storage areas behind the berth 7C at the Container Terminal will provide additional 6,840 m2 of storage for 672 TEUs. Simultaneously the seabed of Basin I will be deepened to initially -14 m and by the end of 2014 to -15 m. As emphasized by the Management Board's President Mr Mišič, 2014 will be a year of investments that failed to be realised: "These investments are of crucial importance to maintain current cargo throughput as well as competitiveness. Thanks to the dredging, we anticipate that the container freight will gradually increase in 2014 whilst a more substantial growth in cargo throughput can be expected in late 2015 and in 2016 when the investments will bear fruits."
The fact that Luka Koper is on the right track is also supported by foreign experts but they do point out that certain basic conditions have to be met. "Sufficient capacity at the piers, a modern railway connection and at least 15-metre depth would allow Koper to increase the container throughput by 2030 to 2 million TEUs per year," is confident Mr Chris Rowland from London's MDS agency involved in the studies in the field of logistics.