The port of Genoa was not affected by recession
The economic crisis that started at the beginning of last summer almost nullified the results achieved in the first half of the year. However, the reversal recorded in December by VTE bodes well
The Italian economic trend reflected on the 2018 freight traffic results of the port of Genoa recently published by the Port Authority: after six months (+3.9% at the end of June), the trend reversed at the beginning of last summer and the year closed with a 0.3% growth.
This is due to the difficulties related to the most important product sector, i.e. containers which, with 25.3 million tons witnessed a 1.7% decrease (-0.5% in TEUs, referring to a possible increase in empty containers handling). A similar trend was recorded by the first operator of the port, i.e. Voltri-Prà (VTE) container terminal which, with 1.58 million TEUs, decreased to -1.2% (also due to problems related to road transport), although in December it recorded an encouraging +0.7% compared to December 2017.
VTE’s loss of 20,000 TEUs, adding to those of the San Giorgio Terminal (20,000 TEUs, due to a definitely more serious crisis, given total volumes, and related also to other types) and Messina (8,000 TEUs), was only partially offset by the positive results achieved by its sister company Sech (same shareholders, PSA and GIP), which took over part of its traffics (+6,000 TEUs compared to 2017), and by the excellent results recorded by Spinelli (+30,000 TEUs, 394,000 in total, equal to +8.3%).
Spinelli achieved excellent figures also as regards ro-ro traffics, reaching almost 1 million linear meters (+21,8%). Non-containerized traffics recorded an overall positive trend, exceeding 10 million tons and achieving +3.8%. Identical results concerned mineral oils, which exceeded 15 million tons, while steel traffics were affected by “Ilva vicissitudes”, closing at 2.5 million tons (-9.8%).
The poor trend of the second half of the year, similar to that of the Italian economy, and worsened by the Morandi Bridge collapse and by the storm occurred at the end of October, affected also the temporary labour supply in the port, depending especially on container traffics. According to the Port Authority, the port workers association Culmv will have 3,663 working days less, equal to -1.5%.
We still do not know to what extent the collapse of the highway bridge affected these results, or how it will affect the future. However, we are sure about the arbitrary size of the state relief obtained for it by the Port Authority (260 million euro and derogations for the infrastructure procedures) and by Culmv (2 million and five-year prorogation of its authorization), and about the recovery of trade traffics recorded in December (+1.7%), driven by VTE’s 0.7%, as well as by the steady performances of the other terminal operators.
This trend reflected also on ferry passengers (+0.1%, slightly above 2 million), while cruises were not affected by the overall economic scenario, closing at +9.3%, over one million passengers.
On the contrary, 2018 was a positive year for Savona as concerns freight traffics (13.8 million tons by the end of November, equal to +6.57%), while in passenger traffics the other Port Authority’s port recorded negative results (-0.43% in cruises, -5.34% in ferries by the end of November).
“The lack of growth in 2018 is not consistent with our development goals”, Port Authority president Paolo Signorini observed. “In the near future port activities may still be affected by the events occurred in 2018, while traffics are expected to remain stable. However, we are working with the Region, the Municipality and the Government to implement the measures adopted by the Italian Parliament following the Morandi Bridge Collapse and in the Stability Law 2019 in order to start growing again, consistently with the potential and aspirations of our port system”.