Inbound containers to two piers at the port of Piraeus managed by Cosco Shipping Ports (piers II and III), via the Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT), recorded a 12.7% drop in January, due to the ongoing attacks by Houthis in the Red Sea which has forced route changes of commercial vessels.

Cosco Shipping Ports announced that 281.8 thousand TEU – twenty-foot equivalent unit, a measure of volume in units of twenty-foot long containers – were circulated in January, compared to 322.8 thousand TEU in the same month last year (a decrease of 12.7%).

Notably, the total circulation of containers by Cosco Shipping Ports in all its ports in China and outside China increased by 13.9%.

From the ports it controls in Europe, the terminals it controls in Spain (Valencia and Bilbao) posted a slight increase of 0.7% and the terminal in Antwerp (9.4%), while the unit in Rotterdam (-4.5%) and in Zeebrugge, Belgium (-22.9%) as well as the Turkish port of Kumport (-30%).

The ongoing conflict in the Red Sea has impacted global trade shipping forcing almost all container companies to bypass the region and divert their ships around Africa.

The route changes from the Far East to Europe, through South Africa, favor the ports of Western and Northern Europe as well as Morocco, at the expense of Piraeus, which ceases to be the first port in Europe after the Suez, resulting in losing a significant load intended for transshipment.