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Reform Support
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Supporting reforms to foster an attractive business environment and increase competitiveness

Funding Programme
  • 2020

Promote Greece as a global logistics and value added services hub

The project addresses with the topics of multimodal logistics, regional integration, and intercontinental supply chains. It developed an evidence base and policy recommendations to assist the Government of Greece in formulating a strategy to transition from a maritime transhipment hub to a gateway for containerized freight between Central Europe and the rest of the world, via Southeast Europe.


Greece has adopted two overarching goals in international logistics: (1) position itself as a gateway for containerized freight to/from Central Europe, and (2) increasing the amount of value-added logistics services provided within Greece. These goals are attainable but remain aspirational, as only 0.1% of Central European containerized volumes are currently served by Greece-routed itineraries.

There are 4 main challenges to turn this around: (1) rail freight capacity bottlenecks within and outside Greece; (2) insufficient competition in rail freight services within Greece; (3) lack of integrated logistics clusters within and outside Greece; and (4) insufficient institutional collaboration corridor-wide.

Support delivered

The project was implemented by the World Bank and overseen by DG REFORM and the Government of Greece. It conducted 4 activities: (1) Central European hinterland market assessment; (2) Piraeus and Thessaloniki gateway assessment; (3) Assessment of practices of government and domestic private sector engagement; and (4) Best practices and policy recommendations. The analyses took place in Central and Southeast Europe as well as Greece, because realizing Greece’s gateway vision will necessarily entail, first, understanding the operational needs of the Central European market, and second, corridor development coordination by the countries that host the corridors linking Greece with Central Europe.

Results achieved

The project provided stakeholders across the Government of Greece with market information that is critical to formulating a logistics gateway strategy. Much of this information is not in the public domain and thus needs to be developed through primary research (e.g., interviews and surveys), modelling, deep industry knowledge, and an ability to ‘connect the development dots’ and build convincing policy narratives from the data, all of which this project did. The project resulted in knowledge transfer, the delivery of actionable and well-contextualized policy recommendations, and the articulation of a case for action both within and outside Greece, with regional implications.