Greece stands on the crossroad of three continents (Europe, Asia, Africa), connecting, since early antiquity, people, goods and cultures. For that reason, Greece has long been a strategic node for the development of transportation in the greater region.

Investing in the Greek logistics sector

Greece stands on the crossroad of three continents (Europe, Asia, Africa), connecting, since early antiquity, people, goods and cultures. For that reason, Greece has long been a strategic node for the development of transportation in the greater region.

More specifically, maritime transport is the most important mode of global freight transport, accounting for 80 per cent of global trade by volume and over 70 per cent by value1. According to a recent study, container throughput in European ports is growing at 6% annually2, while traffic through South-East Mediterranean ports has been growing at more than 8% annually3. Trade flows between Asia and S.E. Europe are expected to increase by 7% annually for the years to come4.

In this environment, Greece’s geographical position as a gateway between East and West render it highly attractive for investments in logistics and transport to take advantage of these increasing trade flows in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Overall, Greek ports are strategically located and could easily be transformed into regional logistics hubs for goods travel from Asia to the European Community. The main port of Greece, Piraeus is a large port with significant capacity both as a container port and as a car terminal. It is also close to the main Mediterranean maritime route (210 nm)and provides access to a large logistics center in Thriassio and a high-speed cargo train route leading into Europe. All this allow Piraeus to serve both as a transshipment center and a gateway port to Europe.

From 2010 on, the Piraeus container port and car terminal started a remarkable recovery path partly due to the arrival of COSCO Pacific as operator of the ‘Pier 2’ facility. Piraeus reappeared in the top 15 European container ports with a total capacity  of  3.6 million TEU.Piraeus’ increased capacity and efficiency, its new cargo train connection to Europe and the shorter, more direct access to Asia through established shipping routes has established Piraeus as the premium import point from the manufacturing countries of Asia (China, Japan, Korea, India) to Europe.

Other Greek ports with the capacity to become gateways to Europe include Thessaloniki, Alexandroupoli and Patras.

There are several opportunities for investment in the Greek logistics sector, driven mostly by the following:
• The growth of the Greek ports as gateways from Asia to Europe
• The planned privatization of such critical logistics assets as the Port of Piraeus (OLP), Port of Thessaloniki (OLTH) and Greek train operator (TRAINOSE)
• Continued investment in the improvement of rail and road infrastructure, including the recent restarting of several major motorway projects 
• The opportunity for major global manufacturers to use Greece as an assembly, logistics and quality assurance center for their products manufactured in Asia and sold in Europe.

The potential for Greece to become a major logistics, distribution and assembly hub for Europe has been recognized by major investors such as Chinese COSCO, which is already heavily invested in the Piraeus port  On January 22, 2015, COSCO inaugurated a new investment of 230 million Euro for the expansion of the PIER III of the port.Also significant is a recent agreement between the Hellenic Rail company TRAINOSE and HP for the exclusive transport of HP goods coming through Piraeus to the European markets. Following the same path, in December 2013, Huwaei established a pilot distribution center in the Port of Piraeus whereas ZTE Corp has recently announced that a logistics center will be developed in the Port of Piraeus.

Additionally, as part of the wide range Privatisation Program that is underway, the Greek government has a rich portfolio of infrastructure projects. This portfolio includes, among others:
• Ports as companies of limited liability
• TRAINOSE (Train Operating Company)
• Athens International Airport
• Other regional airports

Why Greece:
Competitive Freight Costs - The geographical position of Greek ports allows the offering of competitive sea freight cost for transported containers, while offering access to a set of growing economies in the broader region.
Transport Infrastructure - Continuing investment in road and rail infrastructure means that Greece’s major ports are now directly interconnected with modern road and rail links, facilitating intermodal transport of cargo onwards to their final destination quickly and cost-effectively. Under the new European Infrastructure Policy (TEN-T) more than 26 bn € will be invested in European infrastructure, including railway, road, port, airport and multimodal infrastructure projects in Greece.
Advantageous Location: Greece is part of the EU’s Orient/East-Med Corridor that connects the maritime interfaces of the North, Baltic, Black Sea and Mediterranean.
World Champion Shipping Sector: Greek ship owners control the world’s largest merchant fleet.
Know-how and skilled labor – Greek manufacturing and maritime tradition ensures the availability of skilled logistics and assembly employees for the staffing of local distribution centers.
Efficient global logistics providers: Several global 3PL providers such as Kuhne & Nagel, DHL, Schenker, Geodis, Panalpina, and Express are currently operating in Greece, Recently, a logistics network funded by the Hellenic Federation of Industries (SEV) has been created, to improve collaboration between logistics providers and the rest of the Greek economy.

Main investment opportunities
• Investments in Greek ports
• Regional airports
• Athens International Airport
• Rail and road transport investments
• Logistics centers
• Assembly and quality assurance facilities

Key Figures

Trade flow through Greece growth per year


Trade flow through Greece 2010

€85 bn7

Current capacity of Piraeus port (TEU)


Planned capacity for Piraeus


Key Links
Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (www.yme.gr)
EEL -Greek Society of Logistics (http://www.eel.gr/)
Piraeus Port Authority (www.olp.gr)
Thessaloniki Port Authority (http://www.thpa.gr/en/)

1. http://unctad.org/en/pages/PublicationWebflyer.aspx?publicationid=380
2. McKinsey: Greece Ten Years Ahead
3. McKinsey: Greece Ten Years Ahead
4. McKinsey: Greece Ten Years Ahead
5. McKinsey: Greece Ten Years Ahead
6. McKinsey: Greece Ten Years Ahead
7. McKinsey: Greece Ten Years Ahead


Business, naturally
Greece is the natural investment destination for businesspeople who want to be at the heart of the fastest growing region in Europe. The emerging regional market of 140 million consumers in Southeast Europe has a cumulative GDP of almost 1 trillion Euro. As the economic engine of the region and the only Eurozone member, Greece has a stable economic and political environment, has instituted significant reforms that are driving investment activity, has a highly knowledgeable and highly productive workforce, and has created a business-conducive environment, fueling strong growth. Greece’s economy has been one of the best performers in the Eurozone and continues to outperform the EU average. Many multinational companies choose Greece as their headquarters for Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. With one of the most attractive lifestyles in the world, Greece is a spectacular location to live, work, and play.

Invest in Greece Agency
Invest in Greece is the official Investment Promotion Agency of Greece that promotes and facilitates private investment. Invest in Greece identifies market opportunities and provides investors with assistance, analysis, advice, and aftercare support free of charge.
Invest in Greece identifies potential partners, locates sites, assists in legal and licensing procedures, analyzes investment proposals, furnishes pertinent economic information, and fully explains incentives available to investors.
The professionals at Invest in Greece guide investors at every step of the investment process and provide essential support for ongoing operations or expansion projects.
Invest in Greece is committed to helping businesspeople discover the many opportunities in Greece, the gateway to Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.

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