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Port of Koper as a green point of entry into the heart of Europe

As the only Slovenian international cargo port, Luka Koper (Port of Koper) is of key strategic importance for Slovenia. It stands as the closest connection between Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. Due to its importance and, above all, its sustainable development, Luka Koper was awarded the honorary title of Ambassador of the Slovenian Economy by the public agency Spirit Slovenia.

A panoramic view of Port of Koper.

The Port of Koper is also Slovenia's window into the world. | Author Jaka Jerasa

The title relates to the promotion of the Slovenian economy under the slogan I FEEL SLOVENIA. Green. Creative. Smart. Ambassadors are companies that provide ground-breaking solutions and showcase the key competitive advantages of the Slovenian economy: green, creative, smart. The title of ambassador is a great honour for Luka Koper and provides an important opportunity.

"As a port, we play an important role in the logistics connections between Central and Eastern European countries and overseas countries, so we are very pleased to be participating in a communication campaign that is strongly internationally oriented and unites penetrating Slovenian companies," says the company.

A green point of entry into the heart of Europe

As in other industries, the principles of sustainable business and diminishing negative effects on the environment are becoming increasingly observed in logistics and transport. With its geographical location and sustainable orientation, Luka Koper promotes logistics solutions that are optimal in terms of the environment and very often also in terms of the economy.

Green logistics is playing an increasing role in supply chains, while the increasing scope of legislation and consumer awareness already influence companies' strategies and business decisions.

Luka Koper also fully manages the impacts of noise emissions and light pollution and has a system in place for marine protection, waste management and energy efficiency.

The cargo ship brought the containers. Unloading elevators.

Luka Koper has made it possible for products from Slovenian companies to successfully penetrate the world market. | Author Luka Koper arhiv

An important aspect of environmental protection is the geographical location of the port, which allows for a shorter transport route. This means savings in time, energy consumption and, consequently, lower greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful substances.

The ground-breaking solution of Luka Koper constitutes a green point of entry into the heart of Europe. The title of ambassador is not the first recognition that Luka Koper has received for its sustainable solutions. In 2018, Luka Koper was honoured with the environmental award in the category of the International Environmental Partnership within the framework of the Environmental Meeting (organised by the newspaper Finance and the Eco Fund).

A company with a successful business model

Luka Koper has proved to be a company based on a flexible and healthy business model even amid the coronavirus crisis. It is a given that the consequences of the pandemic are likely to be perceived in logistics by delays in the arrival of cargo, but the situation is nevertheless different than at the time of the global economic crisis in 2008. Today, the Luka Koper Group is in a much better financial position. 

The multipurpose character of the port is the right business model: the decline of one commodity group can be more easily replaced with another.

At the same time, it is primarily a challenge for such a successful company to improve work processes and carry out certain investments. One of these is the ever-increasing size of the container terminal.

Looking back

The Luka Koper company was established in 1957. The floating dredger Peter Klepec started dredging the sea bottom on the north coast of the port.

The first ship that moored in the port of Koper was the transoceanic ship Gorica, owned by the Slovene ship-owner Splošna Plovba from Piran.

Luka Koper adopted its present name in 1961. Two years later the customs zone was set up. In 1967, the company completed the construction of the 31-kilometre railway track from Koper to Prešnica, which enabled Luka Koper to be included in the European railway system.

Over the years, Luka Koper added an increasing number of new terminals for various types of cargo; it has expanded its infrastructure since its establishment.

Container transshipment.

Luka Koper in the seventies of the 20th century. | Author Luka Koper arhiv

By investing in separate collection of waste and its processing, setting up sea monitoring and establishing cooperation with international organisations, Luka Koper systemically approached environmental management and adaptation to the standards of the European Union.

In 2000, the company received the ISO 14001 environmental certificate.

In 2010, the portal for sustainable development www.zivetispristaniscem.si started publishing data on the average hourly noise level at two measuring points on the outskirts of the port and the EU's EMAS environmental management system was acquired. 

Author: Tanja Glogovčan Belančić