With its 500,000th TEU of the year, Luka Koper yesterday achieved another milestone that corroborates its leading position among container terminals in the Northern Adriatic.
The origins of Koper’s Container Terminal date back to 1979, and the construction of a 150-metre long quayside replete with a single crane; the following year, cargo throughput amounted to 37,831 TEUs. With the exception of the early 1990s, when Slovenia and the region were impacted by war in the Balkans, throughput steadily increased, and after 2000, an ever more rapid trend towards containerisation resulted in massive growth worldwide. Luka Koper has kept pace with such trends: in 2001 it handled 93,187 TEU's, and by the end of this year throughput will come close to 600,000.
Convinced by reliable services, the timely construction of new facilities and good transport connections with the hinterland, all the world’s largest container shippers today operate either direct or feeder lines to Koper. Since June 2009, six lines have been operating two direct services between Koper and the Far East, and these have also decisively contributed to such a significant increase in container throughput. Although the buoyant trend will continue next year, it is likely to decline as a consequence of an anticipated downturn in the global economy.
»Years ago Luka Koper realised that container freight was a cargo that enjoyed great potential, thus it formed an important element in the company's development potential; indeed, such a perspective was again corroborated by a five-year strategic plan adopted earlier this year. Koper firmly keeps the title of the largest container port in the Northern Adriatic,« commented Management Board President Gregor Veselko on this historic achievement.
Luka Koper continues with its infrastructure investments aimed at increasing the capacity and optimising the operation of the Container Terminal. These investments are mainly aimed at the purchase of machinery, the acquisition of land for storage facilities and wagon handling, as well as the modernisation of the IT system. The most important investment in the medium term will be the dredging of the seabed and navigation routes in order to facilitate the arrival of even larger container vessels.