Categories: ESPO, EuropePublished On: 03.02.2020445 words2.3 min read

This month we are taking you to Slovenia’s only commercial port, the Port of Koper. In what follows, Mr. Dimitrij Zadel, President of the Management Board, explains his vision for the future development of the port, the importance of hinterland connections for the port, and his takes on how the port is dealing with environmental sustainability and maintaining a good port-city relationship.

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Can you briefly tell us about the Port of Koper? What are its main characteristics and challenges?

Port of Koper is a multi-purpose port in the true sense of the word, as we handle a really vast variety of commodities. We are also a genuine transit port, serving mostly the landlocked countries of Central and Eastern Europe. We have the largest container terminal in the Adriatic region and one of the largest automotive hubs in the Mediterranean. The port’s connectivity shows a very high dependency on railway, as 60% of all cargo handled in the port is transported by rail, with daily train services to main logistic and industrial centers in Central and Eastern Europe.

The company’s strategic orientation in the field of containers and cars is also clear from the analysis of the throughput structure. Containers and cars, which are also identified as strategic cargoes in the company’s Strategic Business Plan until 2025, now account for 46% of the total maritime throughput. In both cases, these are commodities with higher added value and less environmental impact. The company has doubled the quantities measured in container units and number of vehicles in the last ten years. In the same period the total throughput increased by a third.

I would say that the main challenge in the last period was to follow all changes around the globe and to extract the most important aspects which influence the business.

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How did you get into maritime transport? How did your career path lead to this position?

Before taking this position approximately two years ago, I was involved mostly in the restructuring and modernisation of companies operating in different fields, from automotive, logistic, wholesale, retail and services to oil trading in several countries in Southern and Central Europe as well as in the Balkan region. During those years, as Director of those companies, I had the opportunity to deal with and to understand various business models, structures, and cultural specifics in different countries and large organisations. When I started to work at Port of Koper, I would say I had some experience and understanding of the mindset of our stakeholders and needs of our customers.

What is your vision for the Port of Koper for the next decade? . . . . . 

. . . . . continue reading the interview on the ESPO website