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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
23/04/19 12:40

Green light on towage services tenders in 12 Italian ports

Particularly Savona-Vado, La Spezia, Salerno, Catania and Palermo. Local operators are worried for foreign competitors considering annual sales would exceed 300 million/year

After the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructures recently published the new guidelines to adjudicate concessions on port towage services, local competent Authorities will start calling the related tenders.

Overall 40 ports in Italy are served by port towage operators and most concessions have already expired.

According to the Ministry of Transport the first ports for which tenders will be called are Savona, La Spezia, Salernon, Palermo, Trapani, Gela, Porto Empedocle, Pozzallo, Catania, Bari (where a tender was already called and subsequently (cancelled in 2014), Barletta and Chioggia, plus Civitavecchia and Brindisi whose concessions will expire this year.

In 2020 further particularly appealing ports will follow: Genoa, Leghorn, Venice and also Gaeta; then  Marina di Carrara (2022), Piombino (2026), Fiumicino (2025), Naples and Castellammare (2023), Gioia Tauro (2025), Taranto (2023), Termoli (2025), Ancona and Ravenna (2023), Porto Torres (2022), Cagliari (2024), Portovesme (2025), Augusta, Siracusa (2023) and finally Messina and Milazzo (2024).

Other ports are safe because they recently renewed their concessions, Trieste and Monfalcone (in 2016), Crotone (2017), Pescara, Ortona, Vasto (2016) and Olbia (2015).       

Admiral Nicola Carlone, heading Genoa Harbour Masters Office confirmed the upcoming call for tenders for Savona and La Spezia adding that in late March they already announced the service will be adjudicated to a single concessionaire.

Carlone mentioned the new European regulation on technical-nautical services pinpointing that global carriers might be interested in towage and pilot services too.

This would be a further step within the larger integration process launched by global carrier which already reached port terminal operations, shipagents, road transport, logistics and freight forwarders.

Con.Tug, towage service company operating in Gioia Tauro, is 50% controlled by Scafi and MSC (after the latter group took over 100% shares in Medcenter Container Terminal), while Svitzer towage company, which was adjudicated the concession in Trieste and Monfalcone in 2016 is controlled by Maersk.


The Danish giant of containers will also join terminal operation business by the end of this year through APM Terminals in Vado Ligure (in partnership with Cosco) while Svitzer might be interested in towage concession in Savona where Scafi group is currently operating through Carmelo Noli pursuant to an extension.

Annual sales would exceed 300 million Euro and Italian companies are perfectly aware that foreign towage groups might be interested (as Italian groups are attempting to participate in foreign tenders globally).

Major group in Italy is Rimorchiatori Riuniti, operating, through Rimorchiatori Riuniti del Mediterraneo sub-holding (35% participated by Deutsche Bank), in Genoa, Salerno, Trieste (in joint venture with Ocean), Ravenna, Ancona, Pescara, Ortona, Vasto, Pozzallo, Augusta, Siracusa, Catania, Messina and Milazzo.

Followed by Scafi, operating in Savona, La Spezia and Gioia Tauro, Moby operating towage services in Sardinia, while F.lli Neri controls Tuscany ports.

Rimorchiatori Laziali, operating in Civitavecchia, Palermo and Trapani through Somat, Rimorchiatori Riuniti Panfido controlling Venice and Chioggia (besides Rovigo regasificator through Adriatic Towage, joint venture with Dutch SMIT), Rimorchiatori Napoletani (Naples, Gaeta, Taranto and Bari) and Impresa Fratelli Barretta in Brindisi.     

The guidelines for the new concessions issued by the Ministry of Transport illustrates that public tenders are the best  solution to ensure high quality standard and safety at lower costs”.

These guidelines relates to concession reaching or exceeding 5,225,000 Euro while the concession will last 15, even if shorter concessions might be adjudicated in specific occurrences.

Nicola Capuzzo


TAG : Towage