The recent annual report by the Baltic Exchange International Shipping Centre Development, shows Greece making it in the world’s top 10 shipping hubs largely due to the development of the Port of Piraeus after its acquisition by China’s Cosco and not to shipping activity.
According to a news piece by eKathimerini, although Greek shipowners control the world’s biggest merchant fleet based on capacity, Athens and Piraeus have failed not only to attract newcomers but even to hold on to the ocean-going shipping groups based in the Greek capital. This is hardly surprising for those who follow the market closely, as a survey by Petrofin Research shows that Greece-based shipping companies shrank from 926 in 1998 to 588 last year.
Athens-Piraeus has returned to the top 10 of the 2019 Xinhua-Baltic Exchange International Shipping Centre Development list by marginally overtaking Tokyo and because Busan has slipped on domestic developments in South Korea. Singapore tops the list for the sixth year in a row.
The order of the world’s shipping hubs is as follows: (1) Singapore (2) Hong Kong, (3) London (4) Shanghai (5) Dubai (6) Rotterdam (7)Hamburg (8) New York-New Jersey (9) Houston (10) Athens.