Port operator Luka Koper is opening a new five-storey warehouse on its dockside storage facilities in Slovenia at the beginning of November. It will support a record growth in throughput established in part by its new Barcelona service.
Already capable of holding 50,000 vehicles, the new warehouse is capable of storing another 2,750 units (with an elevated bridge currently under construction linking it to the pier loading area).
Since joining the EU in 2004 the Port of Koper has seen double-digit growth. Car Terminal Director, Gregor Beliè, told Automotive Logistics: “In terms of car business, the growth is really high, as this category represents also one of the strategic business units of our port. Last year we faced a nearly 30 per cent growth as we reached traffic of 520,000 car units. This year we are going to pass 600,000 car units, which means a growth of 15 to 18 per cent.”
In three years the Koper and Barcelona service, which is supported by Neptune Lines, is expected to account for 230,000 of those units. And, of the 20 carmakers that Luka Koper now supports, 14 are already using it: from Koper to Barcelona the service carries cars built by Suzuki, Renault, Chevrolet, PSA, Volkswagen, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai and Ford. On the return leg the service moves cars built by Seat, Nissan, Mazda, Mercedes, the VW Group and Renault.
This new service replaces the one-way leg set up last year, which ran from Barcelona to Koper mainly supporting Opel business with some additional units coming from Seat.
As well as an expanding storage infrastructure the company’s port management and terminal operations have grown to include two daughter companies: Adria Terminali, for inland logistics and distribution, and Adria Transport, for railway transportation. Rail currently handles 37 per cent of vehicle throughput at the port and by the end of 2009 is set to increase by another 30 per cent.