Ljubljana related

17 Oct 2019, 12:33 PM

STA, 16 October 2019 - The Slovenian Chamber of Craft and Small Business (OZS) and the Croatian Association of Hauliers called for eliminating traffic jams at the countries' border crossings at a meeting in Croatia on Wednesday. Road congestions on the border are causing enormous economic damage, according to the hauliers.

Peter Pišek, the head of the OZS hauliers' section, said that hauliers from both countries were experiencing unreasonably long queues at the border crossings due to the border authorities' ineffective system.

"This is problematic particularly at the start of the week when crossing the border could take up to 10 hours. Since hauliers have strictly limited working hours, they cannot continue working on the day they cross the border," said Pišek in a OZS press release.

The chamber has also pointed out that hauliers from both countries had been striving for a session of the Slovenian-Croatian haulage commission to be held and include police representatives from both countries.

Both organisations believe that the commission needs to establish ten border crossings between Slovenia and Croatia as soon as possible to allow an easy and unlimited haulier passage. The commission's meeting has been postponed a number of times for unknown reasons.

The hauliers would like to see new haulage rules, including in regular weekly rest periods and changing posted worker regulation so that a person would be a posted worker only if they performed cabotage operations.

Moreover, they advocate the development of secure parking places that are equipped with hygiene and recreation facilities, and could thus serve as a resting period place.

15 Oct 2019, 14:00 PM

STA, 15 October - Yusen Logistics, a Japanese supply chain logistics company, opened on Friday its subsidiary in the coastal town of Koper, thus becoming the first Japanese freight forwarder in Slovenia. The launch is an important step for the port operator Luka Koper as well since it promotes the transport route via Koper.

 The first Japanese logistics subsidiary in Slovenia will also help popularise Slovenia's sole maritime port among Japanese logistics providers, who still prefer the ports in northern Europe.

Yusen Logistics, employing more than 24,000 workers and managing a global network of subsidiaries, has been so far providing services for Slovenia from their Budapest division, said Luka Koper.

The opening was attended by Luka Koper CEO Dimitrij Zadel as well as Takeshi Kondo, chief regional officer of Europe region at Yusen Logistics, and Japanese Ambassador to Slovenia Masaharu Yoshida.

Japan is one of Luka Koper's priority target markets overseas, particularly in terms of containers and vehicles, said the operator.

Last year, Luka Koper transshipped from or to Japan almost half a million tonnes of goods, including about 40,000 vehicles and 27,000 container units.

The operator pointed out that Japanese companies also owned industrial plants in other Asian countries, which transshipped even larger amounts of goods through the Slovenian port, highlighting that the move would help further tap into the potential of the Japanese market.

Luka Koper also drew attention to last year's merger of three Japanese container shipping lines into a single business - the Ocean Network Express (ONE), which ranks sixth in terms of global ranking by vessel capacity.

ONE is not coming to Koper with its own direct shipping line, but it will operate as part of the Intra Mediterranean service, said Luka Koper, adding that setting up a direct commercial maritime link with Japan would definitely vastly increase transshipment business.

Referring to a milestone trade agreement between the EU and Japan which entered into force in February, Luka Koper said that the deal had opened up new possibilities in trade and service exchanges.

Moreover, in the wake of Brexit, Japan, coming up with an alternative to its plants in the UK, could opt for exporting goods, which would enable Luka Koper to capitalise on its own geo-strategic advantage.

Today's opening is another sign that Japanese companies are increasingly interested in the port of Koper. At the start of August, a delegation from Nagoya, the largest Japanese port in terms of transshipment, visited the port, expressing interest in strengthening the economic cooperation.

All our stories on Japan and Slovenia are here

23 Sep 2019, 13:35 PM

STA, 23 September 2019 - Pošta Slovenije, the state-owned postal operator, plans to acquire 72% of the logistics company Intereuropa at EUR 1.45 per share. It is to purchase 9,168,425 regular and 10,675,965 priority shares, which totals EUR 28.75 million, Intereuropa says on the web site of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.

This is in line with the contract that Pošta Slovenije made with a consortium of sellers, comprising SID Banka, NLB, NKBM, Gorenjska Banka, SKB Banka and Banka Intesa Sanpaolo, on 10 May.

The takeover was green-lighted by the Competition Protection Agency at the beginning of the month.

There was much speculation about the value of the deal, with the business daily Finance reporting of a EUR 40 million range, or EUR 100 million together with debt.

But the amount revealed today is closer to the stock market value of the 72% stake, which was estimated at roughly EUR 30 million at the beginning of the month.

Pošta Slovenije is now expected to publish a takeover bid for the outstanding stock in line with competition law. The price per share is also set at EUR 1.45.

Last Friday, a share of Intereuropa was worth EUR 2.54 on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.

30 Aug 2019, 10:50 AM

STA, 29 August 2019 - The logistics group Intereuropa generated EUR 80.57 million in sales revenue in the first half of the year, slightly more than in the same period last year, while net profit was up by 14% to EUR 3.07 million, shows the unaudited report published on Thursday.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up 3% to EUR 7.07 million, and operating profit increased by 2% to EUR 6.84 million.

While the group increased net profit above all expectations, as it exceeded the plan by 25%, the amount of sales revenue was 5% below the plan.

This is mostly due to some of the planned one-off deals in the air, railway and road transport failing to materialise, the company says in the report, adding that revenues were up year-on-year only in the logistics solutions segment.

In the land transport segment, the group generated 52% of its total sales and generated EUR 42 million in sales revenue, which is 1% less year-on-year and 4% below the plans.

EBITDA were 7% above the plan, which Intereuropa attributes mostly to the received payment of a years-old claim based on a court settlement.

Labour costs in the first half of the year were up by 1% compared to the same period last year, with a growth of average labour costs per employee having the largest impact.

At the end of June, the group employed 1,359 workers, which is 32 more than at the end of last December. This is due to the direct hiring of some workers who had previously worked for the group through temping agencies.

The group's operating profit amounted to EUR 3.8 million, or 2% more than in the first half of 2018, while net financial debt of the group was down by 10% compared to the end of last year to EUR 53.9 million.

The core company Intereuropa, based in Koper, saw its sales revenue increase by 1% to EUR 57.14 million, while net profit surged by 30% to EUR 2.96 million.

The core company's EBITDA and operating profit were meanwhile down by 2% and 4% to EUR 4.95 million and EUR 2.79 million, respectively.

The report notes that EUR 691,000 in turnover with Intereuropa shares had been generated on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange (LJSE) in the first half of the year, which is more than 25% less year-on-year.

In the January-June period, the share lost 2.3% of its value on the LJSE.

23 Aug 2019, 15:30 PM

STA, 23 August 2019 - The Koper port placed 80th on this year's list of 900 best connected container ports in the world, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad). The port has been listed the highest among all Adriatic Sea container ports since the first such ranking in 2006.

The first place went to the Shanghai port, while the port of Antwerp was the best in Europe, having been placed 6th in the world.

The Unctad ranks ports according to their liner shipping connectivity index, which takes into account the number and frequency rate of their connections with other ports as well as average and maximum vessel sizes.

The higher the index, the easier it is to access a high-capacity global maritime freight transport system and thus effectively participate in international trade.

"The greater the number of destinations and the higher the frequency of connections, the more options clients have in selecting the most optimal logistics solution," said Luka Koper, the operator of Slovenia's sole maritime port.

The Adriatic transport route has been making a name for itself in the past decade, with four north-Adriatic ports transshipping a total of 1.12 million container units in 2009. Last year, the figure rose to 2.47 million, said the operator.

The maritime transport world has acknowledged the advantages of southern European ports, including in servicing middle-European markets.

According to the Unctad's list, the port of Koper is on par with northern-Adriatic ports in terms of their connections, but the Slovenian port surpasses its neighbouring ports when it comes to the number of container units each vessel transships on average.

The Koper port has a 40% share of all container transport in north Adriatic Sea and is the biggest terminal in the region. Luka Koper expects to reach a record number of a million container units transshipped this year.

More details on Unctad’s list can be found here

21 Aug 2019, 17:14 PM

People living in Slovenia will now be able to use UPS Worldwide Express Freight and UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday, giving greater access to the firm’s smart global logistics network for urgent shipments weighing over 70kg. As Daniel Carrera, President UPS East Europe, said in the related press release:

Our customers come to UPS because they know that we can offer the service they need to ship products to their customers worldwide, whether it fits in an envelope or on a pallet. Businesses that export tend to be more profitable, and this enhancement will offer companies of all sizes more options to reach their customers wherever they are. UPS’s smart global logistics network moves 3% of the world’s GDP every day, and this latest enhancement in Slovenia is part of the company’s commitment to providing our customers with the tools they need to grow.

UPS Worldwide Express Freight provides international delivery of palletized loads weighing over 70kg within one to three business days, depending on destination, to around 50 nations (see more here). For shipments that need more speed, UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday promises delivery by noon of 14:00 to certain areas in over 30 countries and territories (details).

All our stories on logistics in Slovenia are here

18 Jul 2019, 17:48 PM

STA, 18 July 2019 - Contractors have completed works on a major logistics centre adjacent to Ljubljana Airport that will be operated by Austrian logistics giant Cargo Partner. Spanning over almost 30,000 square metres, the new facility is expected to help turn the airport area in a major logistics hub.

Engineering company Protim Ržišnik Perc, which oversaw the project, said on Thursday the new facility would have 25,000 square metres of warehousing areas capable of storing 20,000 palettes, plus 4,000 square metres of office space.

It is located right next to a major centre run by Kuehne + Nagel which serves as the biggest logistics facility for Swiss drug maker Novartis in Europe.

When Cargo Partner broke ground on the project at the end of August 2018, the company said it opted for the airport area because of its excellent location and proximity to the seaports in Koper and Trieste.

Several other smaller logistics projects are also in development around the airport, Zmago Skobir, the head of airport operator Fraport Slovenija, said today as work started on a new passenger terminal at the airport

"It all started with the new bypass road. Since then development around the airport has been very fast," he said.

Work starts on extension of Ljubljana airport passenger terminal

STASTA, 18 July 2019 - A cornerstone ceremony marked the start of construction of a passenger terminal extension at the Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport on Thursday. The expansion will boost the terminal's capacities considerably and improve the airport's services. The works are expected to take two years, with the total cost of investment exceeding EUR 21 million.

Steps in preparing construction site have already been taken by builders GIC Gradnje and Elcom with whom airport operator Fraport Slovenija signed a EUR 17.3 million construction contract at the end of June.

At the ceremony, Fraport Slovenija director Zmago Skobir said that the journey towards modernising the passenger terminal was a long one, but the German company had started delivering on the promises it gave when it became the airport's operator in 2015.

The terminal extension is necessary due to an increase in the number of passengers in the recent years. The trend is expected to continue in the future - in the next 20 years, the Ljubljana airport is expected to register a 3-4% increase of annual traffic growth.

The airport welcomed a record number of 1.8 million passengers last year and has been struggling with lack of space for a while.

Skobir said he was not concerned over the future of Slovenian air carrier Adria Airways since he was sure that it would adapt to growing passenger traffic rates, which are increasing in line with the Slovenian economy and tourism.

The current capacities of the terminal provide service to 500 passengers per hour, while the new terminal will cater to 1,250 passengers per hour. This will prevent bottle neck at the terminal, including during rush hours in peak summer season.

The terminal will thus get 10,000 square metres of new space, including new retail and restaurant facilities as well as additional 14 check-in desks, two security control points and a new departure lounge.

The extension will delight passengers and ensure long-term development and competitiveness for Fraport Slovenija, said Skobir.

Apart from the expansion, the operator also plans to modernise airport logistics and IT. According to Skobir, Fraport Slovenija is currently in a long-term investment cycle that amounts to more than EUR 40 million.

The German-owned operator will supervise and manage the investment with a team of ten engineers. According to engineering manager Andrej Tominec, the operator aims to open the new terminal in summer 2021 before Slovenia takes the EU Council presidency in July 2021.

The airport will stay open during the whole construction process. The new facility will be a separate unit connected to the existing terminal, located on the site of a former car park.

The building will be a spacious fusion of concrete, wood and glass, reflecting the nearby Kamnik-Savinja Alps, getting a lot of natural light and blending in with its environment, said the Plan B architecture firm, which has designed blueprints.

There will also be a park outside the new facility, envisaged as a refreshing shelter for passengers. A vision of turning the airport into a small airport city is thus coming to fruition, said Skobir.

Fraport Slovenija also plans to renovate the old terminal after completing the extension project.

25 Mar 2019, 14:20 PM

STA, 22 March 2019 - Slovenia's sole seaport in Koper is not concerned about the prospect of Chinese investments in the port of Trieste, its biggest rival among north Adriatic ports. It says there is plenty of scope for growth of all ports in the region.

"We've always emphasised our support for development projects of all ports in the region," port operator Luka Koper told the STA, noting that investments were the only way north Adriatic ports can compete with ports in North Europe.

The company quoted a study commissioned by the North Adriatic Port Association showing that ports from Ravenna to Rijeka have a combined potential to transship six million container units per year; in 2018 they handled 2.8 million units.

It is precisely in container transshipments that Trieste poses the biggest threat to Koper with the help of state-sponsored Chinese investors.

Koper handled 988,000 container units last year to Trieste's 725,000, but Trieste's volume was up almost a fifth over the year before while Koper registered only 8% growth in container shipments.

Overall, Trieste and the adjacent Monfalcone handled 67 million tonnes of cargo while Koper handled 24 million tonnes, both figures records for the respective ports.

Not only is it unfazed by the prospect of even stronger competition from Trieste, Luka Koper notes that all ports in the region have the same problem: poor rail connections inland.

Koper has a single track connecting it to the national rail network, Trieste faces bottlenecks within the port itself, and in Croatia's Rijeka the tracks still cut through the city.

"Rather than being concerned about what neighbouring ports are doing, it is important that Koper and Slovenia realize plans that we have adopted," the company said about the coming construction of a new track connecting the port with the inland hub Divača.

Construction of the EUR 1bn-plus track covering a distance of 27 kilometres has already started - contractors are currently building 20 kilometres of access roads - but the project is expected to take many years due to the difficult karst terrain.

Concern about Chinese plans have been raised in Slovenian media after it was announced that during Chinese President Xi Jinping's ongoing visit to Italy a memorandum of understanding on Chinese infrastructure investments would be signed.

According to plans, one of the pillar of the investment plan would be to strengthen Trieste's rail connections inland, which some see as a serious threat to Koper's competitive position.

Elen Tvrdy, the dean of the Koper Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport, told the STA Trieste's plans required not only that the new Koper-Divača was built, but also that the port itself Koper continued investing.

"We must always be concerned about loss of market or partners. Koper must continue with investments, this is the only way it will remain competitive, regardless of whether or not the Chinese come to Trieste.

She noted that the Chinese were looking for a foothold in north Adriatic because of short transport routes to Central Europe. North Adriatic has geographic advantages, but good rail connections are critical, she said.

All our stories on logistics in Slovenia are here

21 Mar 2019, 07:00 AM

STA, 19 March 2019 - The Koper port transships the biggest share of Austrian imports and exports, with the number of containers increasing by nearly six times over the course of the past decade, port operator Luka Koper said in a press release following a meeting with Austrian business representatives on Tuesday.

Luka Koper holds a 33% market share in Austria, transshipping 7.1 million tonnes of various goods. Luka Koper has been the top port for the Austrian economy for the last eight years, according to data provided by Verkehr, an Austrian logistics journal.

Good cooperation and good rail connections are key factors in this, Luka Koper said, adding that it had established daily rail links with Austrian logistics centres.

There is a container rail link with Graz ten times a week and there are multiple links a week connecting the port with the logistics centres in Villach and Enns. Moreover, 75% of cargo headed to or coming from Austria is transported by rail, the company said.

Today's get-together of Austrian executives and Luka Koper representatives featured representatives of 26 Austrian companies focusing on logistics, transport, IT solution and construction.

23 Feb 2019, 11:16 AM

STA, 22 February 2019 - Port operator Luka Koper posted a group net profit of EUR 60m last year, an increase of 71% compared to the year before, as net revenue rose by 7% to EUR 226m on a record volume of transshipment.

Operating profit (EBIT) was up 90% to EUR 70m. Discounting one-off compensation payment of EUR 9.6m accounted for in 2017 revenue and provisions for legal liabilities of EUR 15.7m accounted for in 2017 expense, EBIT was up by 15% in real terms, the company announced via the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.

Without taking into consideration the compensation received and the provisions, net profit increased by 9% in real terms in 2018.

The port transshipped a record 24 million tonnes of cargo in 2018, up 3% from the year before. Container throughput was up by 8% to 988,000 TEUs and car throughput rose by 2% to 754,000 vehicles.

The port's cruise terminal recorded 101,415 passengers, a rise of 41% from 2017.

Capital expenditure decreased by 56% to EUR 16m, while the number of the group's employees increased by 12% to 1,242.

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