A strategy of concessions for Greece's major ports has been a key focus in talks between the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.
Previously the Greek government had been ready to privatise the ports by selling stakes in the larger port authorities, but only while maintaining a controlling share.
The new minister of merchant marine, Kostas Mousouroulis, has backed a growing preference for concessions, a development that is expected to attract increasing interest from major carriers and terminal operators. Potential investors were said to have been unenthusiastic about 23% stakes being offered before.
"We are among the first countries in the EU to be successful with concessions. We will build on this experience," said the minister, referring to Cosco's 35-year concession agreement for the container terminal at Piraeus.
Greece's ports are seen as some of the more attractive options on offer in the country's privatisation programme. The government is expected come up with final proposals for the ports in September.
The appointment of Kostas Mousouroulis has marked the return of a standalone Ministry of Merchant Marine and the Aegean, a move that has been welcomed by the shipping sector. For the previous three years, the shipping brief had been amalgamated into several other portfolios.