As an EY survey showed, Greece has to develop a national strategy and provide support services if she wants to be transformed into a freight center and a European gateway for transport.
The report of the survey pointed out the importance of the transportation sector not only for the Greek economy, but also for the country’s incomes and jobs since it represents 10.85 pct of the country’s GDP valued at 19.8 billion euros.
Generally, they key role of transportation belongs to maritime transport as more than 80% of world and about 50% of european trade is transported by sea, something that clearly benefits Greece because of its geographic location in the Eastern Mediterranean. Thanks to this location, a competitive transit route is provided for Europe’s maritime trade with Asia as the transit time of a container ship from China to Piraeus was estimated to last 8-9 days less, compared to other ports in northern Europe.
In 2013, the port of Piraeus was connected to the main national rail network via a high-speed electric railway line.
As a consequence, even COSCO has co-operated with the national railway company TrainOSE to develop reliable and competitive rail freight services towards the most important logistics centers in Central Europe. This has led to the development of a competitive alternative link with Far East ports compared to North European ports in terms of transport time, service frequency and cost.
The survey also referred to the port of Thessaloniki making clear that a possibility of privatisation would surely improve the international competitiveness of Greece’s second largest port. The development of the Logistics Center in the Gonou area, on an area of 672,000 sq.m. near the port of Thessaloniki, is also expected to strengthen the country’s presence in the transport sector in the Balkans.
Finally the survey noted that Greece is the seat of the largest shipowners’ community in the world, and has developed into a world-renowned shipping center that offers diversified shipping services.