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
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.
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.
STA, 17 December 2018 - Swiss group Kuehne + Nagel inaugurated on Monday one of its largest pharmaceutical logistics centres near Ljubljana's international airport. The 88,000 square-metre complex, which was launched earlier in the autumn, has almost 38,000 square metres of warehouse space.
Kuehne + Nagel did not reveal which company it is servicing, but it is known this is Swiss multinational Novartis, for which this is the largest warehouse in Europe and one of the largest in the world.
The centre is designed for storing and distributing end products and materials for the pharmaceutical industry around the world. Drugs from it travel to 120 countries around the world, mostly by sea and land, but some also by air.
The centre is currently operating at some 70% of its capacity, but should be in full swing by the end of March.
As the Swiss logistics group expects further growth in Slovenia, it has already started building a new high-tech distribution centre nearby.
The centre will be built in three stages, with the first one encompassing some 4,500 square metres of warehouse areas.
Since it does not require controlled temperature and humidity, it is seen as less demanding than the pharmaceutical complex.
Borut Vrviščar, the CEO of Kuehne + Nagel Slovenija, did not want to disclose the value of the investments as he addressed reporters today.
But he did say the group's Slovenian subsidiary planned two-digit growth as well as growth in the number of employees.
There are currently 180 employees working in Brnik, but the figure is expected to rise to around 250 by the end of 2019.
Hansjoerg Rodi, regional manager at Kuehne + Nagel Europe, said that well-trained and motivated staff made Slovenia a good market for investments.
He explained Kuehne + Nagel had decided to invest in the Brnik facility because of a certain deal, but the group now saw new opportunities for growth in the pharmaceutical industry and in other areas, so it kept investing.
Meanwhile, Vrviščar said a new logistics centre Austria's Cargo-partner is building near Kuehne + Nagel's complex was no direct competition as the Austrians were involved in a different segment of the logistics industry.
However, he said they would all benefit from the Slovenian government building a rail link to Ljubljana's Jože Pučnik Airport.
Kuehne + Nagel's new facilities are built by Austria's developer Invest4See and then rented by the Swiss logistics group.
STA, 31 August 2018 - The group around port operator Luka Koper posted EUR 35m in net profit in the first half of the year, or 27% more year-on-year, the core company announced on Friday, noting that the result included EUR 9.1m in received compensation. Net sales revenues were meanwhile up by 5% to EUR 113m.
STA, 29 April 2018 - The Slovenian subsidiary of the global logistics company Kuehne + Nagel has acquired a certification for pharmaceutical logistics in Slovenia as a key step for the launch of a EUR 50m logistic complex in the vicinity of Ljubljana airport.