Prime Minister Antonis Samaras hailed as a "vote of confidence" the agreement on Friday between Hewlett-Packard (HP), Cosco and TrainOSE to use Cosco's cargo terminal at the port of Piraeus as a hub and Trainose's adjacent rail infrastructure to distribute the American electronics giant's products in central Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean and eastern Europe.
The accord was signed at noon on Friday at Cosco's installations in the port of Piraeus, in a ceremony attended by Samaras and several government ministers.
"The port of Piraeus is a vehicle for a strong growth for all of Greece," Samaras said, noting that with the rail link of the port with the logistics hub at Thriassio, which was inaugurated the previous day, "strategic networks and infrastructures that free investments have been completed".
"We are giving the ability to boost entrepreneurship in these difficult hours, when new jobs need to be generated," the prime minister continued, and welcomed the signing of the agreement between Cosco and Hewlett-Packard, two companies of global dimensions that use our country's infrastructures and become active in the new context of confidence".
Samaras, who was given a guided tour of the Cosco installations, said that "such investments give a new impetus and consolidate Piraeus on the international map".
"Such investments help our country and deal with unemployment, which remains a priority. There are no magical solutions," Samaras continued, adding that similar moves were to follow in the coming period that would lead the country to the exit from the crisis.
Signing of agreement
An agreement between Hewlett-Packard (HP), Cosco and TrainOSE to use Cosco's cargo terminal at the port of Piraeus as a hub and Trainose's adjacent rail infrastructure to distribute the American electronics giant's products in central Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean and eastern Europe was signed at noon on Friday at Cosco's installations, with Samaras and several government ministers in attendance.
The agreement coincides with the completion of a rail line linking the port of Piraeus with the country’s inter-European railway networks.
The agreement provides for the transport of HP's products via ship by sea from Asia to the Cosco terminal at Piraeus and from there by rail to central and eastern Europe by Trainose trains. The current process of transporting the products from Asia to Europe was costly and time-consuming, and Friday's agreement will enable HP to distribute its produces to central and eastern Europe 10 days earlier than the route followed up to now through other ports in Europe.
The merchandise will be shipped to Piraeus, where it will be loaded on Trainose train wagons, which will convey the shipment through FYROM, Serbia, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic.
The agreement initially provides for the transport of 20,000 HP containers annually, simultaneously boosting Trainose profits which are currently estimated at just 24 million euros from container transports.
HP's logistics and transport business is estimated at 50 billion US dollars, of which the largest proportion covers activities in Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East.
Cosco's and HP's selection of the port of Piraeus could increase the local volume by up to 50 percent for the port, while it will also generate a substantial number of jobs given that a large number of companies are expected to follow HP's lead and move their headquarters to Greece or set up offices here.
A railway track connecting the Thriassio logistics hub with the Ikonio container terminal near the port of Piraeus was inaugurated on Thursday at Cosco's cargo terminal. The 17km-long cargo line comprising 10 tunnels and 10 bridges constitutes the basis of the trilateral cooperation agreement between Cosco, Hewlett Packard and TRAINOSE. The 143-million-euro project will considerably reduce travel time for cargo vessels originating from Asia and the Mediterranean that had to reach major ports in northern Europe.
The new Thriassio-Ikonio rail link will commence with two routes weekly, while with ongoing improvements, the number routes over time will be increased in accordance with the container movement.
The new rail link is expected to upgrade the Thriassio logistics hub, which is currently operating at an initial state and upon completion will concentrate all the rail and container activities of all of Attica.
Gaiose, Trainose's real estate properties development manager, fully owns a 142-acre expanse of land in Thriassio on which it plans to develop container centers.