The Athens / Piraeus Shipping Center retains the eighth place it climbed to two years ago in the global ranking of international shipping centers, with Singapore retaining the top spot for another year, according to the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development Index. published by the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, and the Baltic Exchange.
The Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development Index is an independent ranking of the performance of areas around the world that provide port and all kinds of services (legal, insurance, procurement, construction, etc.) to the shipping industry.
Singapore is known as the top shipping center in the world due to the size of its port, the number of internationally active shipping brokers, the legal, insurance and other services based there and the government support policies of the shipping and port industry.
For the Athens / Piraeus shipping complex, the report states that while it was outside the top ten shipping centers in 2018, it reappeared in tenth place in 2019 and has since risen to eighth place.
The historical importance of Greece for the shipping industry does not need to be emphasized and Greece is the largest ship-owning nation in the world, and represents over 20% of the world tonnage. This presence in terms of ship ownership is supported by a thriving maritime complex that creates investment and employment opportunities in the country. Piraeus is also one of the fastest growing ports in Europe and is the fourth largest in the region in terms of total container performance in 2019 and 2020. There are government plans to strengthen the Greek flag and further develop the country’s ports, which will strengthen the position of the Athens / Piraeus center in the coming years.
It is worth noting, however, that the Athens / Piraeus shipping center rises to fifth place in the world ranking among the centers that offer shipping services. In this relevant ranking, London holds the first place, followed by Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Athens / Piraeus.
The other five shipping centers up to tenth place are: Dubai, Hamburg, Houston, Mumbai and New York.
The report also states that Athens, as the leading shipping center in the world, is still emerging as an important technological hub for shipping. Many start-up technology companies are promoting the digital transformation of traditional shipping companies. As it emphasizes in the last ten years, the investments of venture capital in technology companies have increased more than 20 times while the government is trying to attract talents in the country by reducing taxes by 50% to those who decide to return from abroad and make Greece their headquarters. As an example of investment in technology, the report cites Signal Ventures, of The Signal Group.
The prospects of Athens / Piraeus as an international shipping center were recently mentioned by the President of the Hellenic Shipowners’ Association, Theodoros Veniamis, speaking at the online event organized by the Council for International Relations (Greece) on “Debate on the Greek High Dimension of Shipping “.
As he said, the largest shipping zone in the world is located in the Athens-Piraeus grid and can be the largest development pole of our country for the coming years, provided that the competitiveness of the industry is preserved and the geographical position of Greece is exploited.
The ranking of the top 10 shipping centers in the world remains largely unchanged in 2020, despite the impact of COVID-19, and includes four Asian, four European, one Middle Eastern and one port from the United States, with Asia occupy three of the top five shipping centers, the report said.