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Port of Piraeus


Port of Piraeus

Port of Piraeus
Part of the port of Piraeus
Country Greece
Location Piraeus
Owned by Piraeus Port Authority
Type of harbor Natural/Artificial
Size 3,000 ha (30 sq km)
Employees 1,681[1] (2007)
President and CEO Georgios Anomeritis
Vessel arrivals 27,839 vessels (2008)[2]
Annual cargo tonnage 20.1 million tonnes (2007)[2]
Annual container volume 1.4 million TEU (2007)[2]
Passenger traffic 21.5 million people[2] (2007)
Annual revenue US$ 33 million (2007)[3]
Net income US$ 3 million (2007)[3]

The Port of Piraeus, as the largest Greek seaport, is one of the largest seaports in the Mediterranean Sea basin and one of the top ten container ports in Europe.[4] The port is also a major employer in the area, with more than 1,500 employees who provide services to more than 24,000 ships every year. Port of Piraeus has been the port of Athens since Archaic times.[5][6]


  • History 1
  • Statistics 2
  • Terminals 3
    • Container terminal 3.1
    • Cargo terminal 3.2
    • Automobile terminal 3.3
    • Passenger terminal 3.4
  • Transportation links 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The port in 1892.
1913 renovation plan for Piraeus Port.

Until the 3rd millennium BC, Piraeus was a rocky island connected to the mainland by a low-lying stretch of land that was flooded with sea water most of the year. It was then that the area was increasingly silted and flooding ceased, thus permanently connecting Piraeus to Attica and forming its ports, the main port of Cantharus and the two smaller of Zea and Munichia. In 493 BC, Themistocles initiated the fortifications of Piraeus and later advised the Athenians to take advantage of its natural harbours' strategic potential. In 483 BC, the Athenian fleet left the older harbour of Phaleron and it was transferred to Piraeus, distinguishing itself at the battle of Salamis between the Greek city-states and the Persians in 480 BC. In the following years Themistocles initiated the construction of the port and created the ship sheds (neosoikoi), while the Themistoclean Walls were completed in 471 BC, turning Piraeus into a great military and commercial harbour, which served as the permanent navy base for the mighty Athenian fleet. However, in the late 4th century BC began a long period of decline for Piraeus; the harbours were only occasionally used for the Byzantine fleet and the city was mostly deserted throughout the Ottoman occupation of Greece.

Thessaloniki and its port were captured by Wehrmacht troops on 9 April 1941 (the fourth day of the Battle of Greece).


In 2007 the Port of Piraeus handled 20,121,916 tonnes of cargo and 1,373,138 TEU's making it the busiest cargo port in Greece and the largest container port in the country and the East Mediterranean Sea Basin.[2]

General statistics for 2007[2]
Year 2007
RoRo* 1,108,928
Bulk cargo* 606,454
General cargo* 6,278,635
Containers* 12,127,899
Total* 20,121,916
* figures in tonnes


Container terminal

The building of the Ministry of Maritime Commerce.

The terminal has a storage of 900,000 m2 and an annual traffic capacity of around 1.8 million TEUs.[7]

The container terminal has two piers with a total length of 2.8 km, a storage area of 626,000 m2 and an annual capacity of 1.6 - 1.8 million TEUs.[8]

Pier I is currently expanding and at completion in 2009 it will increase its container traffic capacity to 1,000,000 TEUs.[9]

Pier II is also expanding and will have a container traffic capacity of 1,000,000 in 2012.[10]

There are plans to build another pier, Pier III which at completion in 2015 will have a high density stacking system with a container capacity of 1,000,000 TEUs per year.[11]

Cargo terminal

The cargo terminal has a storage area of 180,000 m2 and an annual traffic capacity of 25,000,000 tonnes.

Automobile terminal

The Port of Piraeus has three car terminals with a total length of 1.4 km, a land area of 180,000 m2, storage capacity of 12,000 cars and a transshipment capacity of 670,000 units per year.[12]

In 2007 the automobile terminal handled 260,605 trucks, 612,840 cars and 9,920 buses.[2]

Passenger terminal

The passenger terminal of the port of Piraeus.

The Port of Piraeus is the largest passenger port in Europe and one of the largest passenger ports in the world with a total traffic of 21,522,917 people in 2007.[2]

Passenger traffic between 2003 - 2007 [2]
Years 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Domestic passengers 11,713,269 11,159,274 11,484,763 11,668,647 11,572,678
Ferry passengers 8,397,292 8,393,053 7,977,880 7,636,426 8,395,492
Foreign passengers 823,339 757,552 925,782 1,202,190 1,554,747
Total traffic' 20,933,900 20,255,879 20,388,425 20,507,263 21,522,917

Transportation links

Piraeus station after the 2003-2004 restoration.

Piraeus station is located next to the Port (), with the southern building the present terminus of Athens Metro Line 1, formerly the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways that opened in 1869.[13] The northern building is the railway terminus for standard gauge railway services on the main axis to Eidomeni via Larisa and Thessaloniki, and the Proastiakos to Chalcis and Acharnes Junction.[14]

Free shuttle buses inside the Port run from across the Metro Line 1 Terminal Station, around the north side of the port to the ships sailing for Crete, the Eastern Aegean and the Dodecanese. A direct Airport Express bus runs 24/7 between the port and Athens International Airport. Other public buses connect Piraeus with its outlying suburbs, the southern coastal zone and with central Athens.


  1. ^ "Port of Piraeus number of employees". 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "(Container Terminal)" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  3. ^ a b "Reuters report". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  4. ^ "Port of Piraeus container port". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  5. ^ Στρατηγική - Όραμα (in Greek). Piraeus Port Authority S.A. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  6. ^ Hellander, Paul (2008). Greece. Lonely Planet.  
  7. ^ "Container terminal". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  8. ^ "Port of Piraeus container terminal". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  9. ^ "Extension of Pier I". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  10. ^ "Machinery & Equipment upgrade of Pier II". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  11. ^ "Construction and equipment of Pier III". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  12. ^ "Car Terminal". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  13. ^ Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  14. ^ 2012 Network Statement (pdf), Athens:  

External links

  • Piraeus Port Authority official website
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