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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
01/04/19 11:47

“This is going to be the century of railway lines”

Despite Marco Ponti's nefarious forecast, Livio Ambrogio continues investing in railway business still betting on ‘Intermodal Only’

Alongside the enduring TAV vs No TAV dispute, Ambrogio Intermodal Only unexpectedly jumped into the limelight.

So far renowned as one of the road-rail intermodality founder, currently also operating in Belgium, France, Germany and Spain through a wide network served by on-property trains, the company has always fostered the new Italy-France cross-border line through the tunnel.

Operating along the Frejus line, the company is perfectly aware of all hindrances which prevent this railway line to compete with parallel road corridors; only 7% out of 44 million tons/year  is carried by train, unlike Switzerland which shows 69.9% market share.

“Freight forwarders' road-railway demand in Europe is quite substantial, even in such weak economic circumstance – states Livio Ambrogio, President of the company headquartered in Candiolo-Turin – due to the fact that road transport has been affected by growing hindrances which cut down performance”.

Major problems  – continues Ambrogio – are: the lack of drivers (average age is 58 and few young workers start such a tough and relatively unprofitable job) and frequent road conjestion.

“Furthermore shrinking road traffic to terminal-customer last mile shipments, Italian haulage contractors would get better conditions and return home daily”.

Currently, 90% of the Italian cross-border road transport is served by foreign carriers (and drivers).

Ambrogio, operating in six private railway terminals (two in Italy, one in Germany and two in France) confirms there's a soaring intermodal demand “Traffic in our terminals is substantially growing, everywhere except for Candiolo because we are connected to France and Spain but due to Frejus inefficient railway connection we can't provide adequate services as the ones from Gallarate to Belgium and Germany, or from Belgium to Germany or to French terminals. The three weekly trains generally transport steel and waste products which can stand longer transit times. Valuable commodities to Spain and Portugal must be carried by truck, however, should the Turin-Lyon be launched, most of them would board trailers on railway wagons”.

Two more couples of weekly trains connect Candiolo to Belgium-based Mechelen terminal , through Novara-Domodossola.

Despite Marco Ponti's opinion (whose cost-benefit analyses on the Turin-Lyon shows unpteenth doubts) Livio Ambrogio believes this is the railway century,.

“All European countries are fostering railway transport. Forthcoming technological developments will cut transit time and transport cost, increasing diversification: from automated driving system to new trains, capable to carry 2,000 tons with interchangeable wagons, to be changed through automated operations”.

Ambrogio Trasporti continues investing in intermodality and railway.

In late 2018, an in-house workshop, for container-wagons maintenance, was established in  Candiolo terminal: two railway track with 4 repair sites, hosting 1 x 90 feet wagon each, the terminal has also been provided with a further workshop for revamping swap bodies.

The aforementioned initiatives target supporting Candiolo while traffic will start growing again.

Meanwhile Ambrogio invested in 100 x 13.70 metres swap bodies, 50 x 90 ft Legios wagons, following former 150 deployed in 2011-2012, and 50 road engines.

Fulvio Quattroccolo

TAG : Intermodal