NAPA enters the Asian market through Shanghai

19.06.2014

Together with other members of NAPA - the North Adriatic Ports Association - Luka Koper again participated at the biennial Transport Logistics China fair which took place between 17th and 19th June in Shanghai.

Data from 2012 clearly demonstrates the significance of Asia’s largest transport and logistics event: it was visited by 15,300 people from 73 countries, while the 490 exhibitors drawn from 45 countries had a total of 22,000 m2 of exhibition area at their disposal. 

NAPA - which joins the ports of Koper, Venice, Trieste and Rijeka - promoted the Adriatic as the fastest and most direct shipping route servicing the markets of Central and Eastern Europe, and, as such, a cost-effective and environment-friendly alternative to the ports from the north-western side of the continent. Indeed, the Northern Adriatic ports have everything required to become a major logistics and distribution hub for East Asian cargos. In 2013, Luka Koper handled almost 100,000 containers from China, and nearly one million tonnes of Chinese cargo. China, together with a number of other countries in the region, have rapidly growing economies, hence our promotional activities in this and other Asian markets will be further strengthened in the future. 

Container freight continues to offer the best prospects for growth. According to professional estimates, containers are expected to increase by thirteen percent as regards Asian exports to the Mediterranean region, and three percent in the opposite direction. Such growth is twice as much as is anticipated for trade flows between Asia and Northern Europe. Textiles and other manufactures account for the major portion of imports, followed by metal and electronic products. 

During the Shanghai fair, the maritime industry was surprised by the news that the Chinese competition authorities have rejected the P3 alliance, i.e. the operational agreement between the world’s three largest carriers, namely Denmark’s Maersk Line, France’s CMA CGM and the Swiss-based MSC. The representatives of all three carriers regretted the decision and anticipated they would look for alternative collaboration solutions in order to reduce costs, increase efficiency and thereby enhance client satisfaction. 

Collaboration between shippers - and not only the three mentioned above - also presents a huge challenge for the ports of the Northern Adriatic, in particular as regards the increase of terminal capacities and investments in port infrastructure. All NAPA members have ambitious plans in relation to container freight, and they wish to provide a six-million TEU annual aggregate capacity by 2030. This ambition is also supported by market studies, further to which the Port of Koper could itself realise one-third of said potential. For this, and other reasons, Luka Koper is investing heavily in seabed dredging in support of larger vessels at its container terminal, as well as increasing its handling and storage capacities at Pier I.