China Shipping Group Favors Greek Island
November 11, 2005
The state-owned China Shipping Group may launch a project to develop a transshipment container terminal on the Greek island of Crete, the Merchant Marine Ministry said Friday.
The company's president, Li Kelin, wrote to Greek Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefalogiannis earlier this week stating that after visits to a number of European locations, "Crete was the highlight."
"The geographical location of Crete makes it an ideal choice to develop a transshipment center for the East Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea," Li added.
Li said the port of Timbaki on Crete's south coast "with all its features is a good site for transshipment terminals."
The shipping group is one of the world's largest and its intention to set up a transshipment center in the Mediterranean was a reflection of China's growing exports to Europe.
In his letter, Li said that establishing China Shipping's own transshipment hub in the Mediterranean was firmly on the company's agenda given the rapid growth of the company's container volume on its Far East-Mediterranean services.
The company has carried between 800,000 and 1 million containers to the Mediterranean so far this year.
China Shipping operates a total fleet of 400 vessels with an aggregate deadweight of 11.5 million metric tons (12.68 million tons). The company's container unit, China Shipping Containers Co. Ltd., has more than 100 vessels with a total shipping capacity of nearly 200,000 twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs. One TEU unit is equal to around 40.9 cubic meters.