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Eurostat: Greek Passenger Ports in EU’s Top 5 in 2021


Three Greek ports have been listed in the EU’s Top 5 passenger ports for 2021, according to the statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat.

The ports of Piraeus, Paloukia (Salamina island), and Perama are in third, fourth and fifth spot respectively after the Italian ports of Messina – largest EU passenger port in 2021 with 8.3 million passengers – and Reggio Di Calabria (8.1 million passengers).

Greece’s largest port, Piraeus welcomed 5.9 million passengers as did both those of Paloukia and Perama.

Overall in 2021, the 20 leading passenger ports accounted for more than 34 percent of the total number of passengers embarked and disembarked in the reporting EU countries.

At the same time however, all ports saw passenger traffic drop substantially in 2021 compared with 2019, with the exception of Italy’s Piombino (+2 percent) and Isola d’Elba (+3 percent).

According to Eurostat data, the number of passengers embarking and disembarking in EU ports in 2021 has started to pick up after a 45 percent slump in 2020 over 2019.

Compared with 2020, the number of passengers increased by 16 percent to 267.9 million from 230 million in 2020. Eurostat analysts say this is still “considerably below” pre-pandemic 2019 levels. In 2021, the number of passengers was down by 36 percent compared with 2019 and 418 million passengers.

Meanwhile, EU ports handled an estimated 3.5 billion tons of total gross weight of goods up by 4 percent compared to 2020 with the Netherlands remaining the largest maritime freight transport EU state in 2021. Dutch ports handled 590 million tons of goods up by 32 million tons compared with 2020 or 17 percent of the total volume of seaborne goods handled last year in the EU. Italy and Spain followed  each with a share of 14 percent.

On the downside, compared to 2020, Greek port of Piraeus marked the largest decline in the number of tons handled in 2021 down by 10 percent, followed by Algeciras in Spain (-6 percent) and Klaipėda in Lithuania (-5 percent).


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