From Campo Marzio to Vienna: Trieste to launch new railway freight connections
The Eastern Adriatic Sea Port Authority signed two MoUs with Austrian railways for the development of connections towards Central-Eastern Europe: since 2015 traffics towards Budapest are 20 times more frequent
Eastern Adriatic Sea Port Authority president Zeno D’Agostino signed two Memorandums of Understanding to implement railway relations between the port of Trieste and its hinterland in Central-Eastern Europe: the first with the railway companies ÖBB-INFRA and Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (Italian Railway Network), and the second with Rail Cargo Austria (RCA). The MoUs aim at strengthening the connections between the logistics hub of the Port of Trieste, being strategic for Friuli Venezia Giulia and North-Eastern Italy in general, and the European railway network by promoting the development of intermodal services, in particular between the Friuli port and the maritime and land terminals of Central-Eastern Europe.
The agreements provide for a shared development strategy aiming at optimizing logistics processes by strengthening the network and increasing the capacity of destination terminals. In actual terms, they will evaluate possible modernizations, new works and the elimination of any bottlenecks in order to facilitate railway carriers’ activities.
“These two MoUs are very important because the development of intermodal and railway activities, in particular of the Austrian railway, determined the revival of our port. Port development logics are the same that draw global attentions to ports”, Port Authority president Zeno D’Agostino declared.
“This is the only case where the body managing a non-cross-border port logistics infrastructure reaches an agreement with the large network and railway service operators of two Countries (Italy and Austria) to prepare for future analyses and investments. The agreements will allow to plan the future development of the port, providing guarantees both to those who operate there, and to future investors”.
Trieste is regarded as a model of efficiency in sea-land modal interconnections.
“For the Trieste free port, Rail Cargo Austria is an important and integrated logistics partner boasting a strong railway network to provide a further boost to railway freight transports, and to ensure cheap and environmentally-friendly transports”, ÖBB CEO Andreas Matthä declared, promising also to create direct connections between Friuli Venezia Giulia and Vienna.
“The agreement represents a further step towards an integration model for the development of railway freight transport and intermodalism. The cooperation with the Port Authority of Trieste and with ÖBB Infrastruktur forms part of the strategy that the Italian Railway Network is adopting across Italy to improve connectivity between ports and railway network and to facilitate modal shifts, thus benefitting the Italian logistics system, as well as the economy and the environment”, RFI Sales Director Christian Colaneri explained. As concerns operations, in past years railway traffics heading towards Austrian, Hungarian, Czech and Slovak markets witnessed a significant increase.
For example, the connection with Budapest, established in 2015 with 1 train pair per week, in 2019 achieved 20 weekly train pairs.
In 2018 Rail, the largest railway operator of the port Cargo Austria handled 3,000 trains, and Port Authorities and railway companies are planning to create new connections due to the high railway capacity, to the revamping of the Campo Marzio Station and to the reopening of Aquilinia in the near future.
The two MoUs will increase the activities of the Port Authority’s subsidiary Adriafer, providing railway shunting services inside the port.
Moreover, the two agreements will favour new measures to support maritime activities in the Fernetti inland terminal, in the Cervignano del Friuli Interport and in the interports of Fürnitz, Budapest-Mahart and Bilk, thus allowing the entry into the shareholding structures of the respective entities.
Finally, they are studying customs corridor solutions, also railway ones, to reduce freight waiting times inside port areas significantly.
The importance of business relations on the Italy-Austria axis was emphasized by Austrian Federal Chamber of Economy vice-president Jurgen Roth, who pointed out that in 2018 these two countries reached an almost 20 billion euro (+5.6%) trade. Austrian exports in Italy grew by 4.7%, achieving 9.8 billion euro, while Italian exports in Austria achieved 9.9 billion euro. Italy is its second commercial partner after Germany.
Last year, trade between Friuli Venezia Giulia and Austria recorded a 1.3 billion euro trade balance thanks to the 92 billion euro performance of Friuli exports (+12%). The port of Trieste is a great opportunity for bilateral growth, with 25 Austrian companies being interested in investing in it”, as observed by Roth.
FREEeste is opened since last month
The new Free Port of Trieste, on the former Wärtsila areas in Bagnoli della Rosandra, is one of its kind in Italy and in Europe
In mid-February Trieste opened its new Free Port structures in a 240 square meters area in Bagnoli della Rosandra, 74,000 of which are covered and intended not only for logistics and storage, but especially for manufacturing and industrial activities. The infrastructure had been acquired in December 2017 by Trieste Interport, which manages the intermodal yard in Fernetti, from Wärtsila Italia, for a 21 million euro investment.
Besides the advantage of the tax regime, the Free Zone of Trieste, known as FreeEste, has two strengths: it is served by railways, reaching its warehouses through a siding connecting it with the Aquilinia station; it has intermodal integrated terminals. A 25,000 square meters warehouse is already full, while a 10,000 square meters one is full of aluminium coming from all over the world.
Part of the covered areas will be equipped to serve as a refrigerated warehouse with a first unit of 20,000 pallet spaces. Within 2020 the railway part will enter into operation, thanks to the Italian Railway Network’s 17 million euro investment.
With the Customs and Monopolies Agency, the Port Authority intends to authorize industrial settlements in order to attract processing, manufacturing and logistics activities providing employment and development to the territory.