Chinese companies held investments in 31 container seaport terminals in Europe and the Mediterranean as of end-August reflecting the increased activity by China’s state players in Europe’s port network since 2016.
The debate over Chinese influence in Europe’s transport infrastructure was revived again this year following COSCO Shipping Port’s (COSCO SP) much discussed bid to buy 35% of Hamburg’s smallest container terminal, Tollerort Terminal (CTT), which was later resolved by the purchase of a 24.99% stake.
With the addition of Tollerort, COSCO SP now holds shares in eleven terminals in seven European countries.
The accelerated activity in Europe since 2016 is reflected in COSCO SP’s results: the group generated USD 176 M, or 32%, of total revenue from European activities in 2016, the year it bought a majority stake in the Piraeus Port Authority. By 2022, this figure had risen to USD 682 M, or 47%, of total revenue.