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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
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29/01/18 10:10

Last farewell to Trieste shipping agent Samer, full of hobbies

Dario Samer, founder of the homonymous shipping and freight-forwarding company during the ‘80s and leading figure within Italy-Turkey maritime trade, practised his jazz and water polo regularly

On January the 19th, Trieste maritime entrepreneur Dario Samer passed away almost at age 89 (his birthday would have been on February the 18th), leaving his wife Lidia and children Lilli and Enrico, who form part of the family company's top management since two decades.

A leading figure within Italy-Turkey maritime trade, shipping agent and freight forwarder Captain Samer founded his shipping agency Samer & Co. Shipping in 1985 (with registered office in Trieste), and he launched it on the international market as an autonomous brand, inheriting the legendary British shipping company Ellerman & Wilson Lines Agency Company Ltd's customers, operating in Trieste since 1919.

Former player of the Italian national water polo team – as well as founder of the team Pallanuoto Trieste – Samer was also Honorary Consul of Turkey since 1991 (in 1998 he was replaced by his son Enrico) as well as a piano player, sponsoring Muggia Jazz Festival.

He played a decisive role in Trieste port history, favouring an increase in sea traffics with Turkey, that turned Trieste into the main Italian port of call for the great Eurasian country.

Samer had been also Skal Italia (1978-80) and Skal FVG (International Association of Friuli Venezia Giulia Tourism Professionals) President, with registered office in Udine.

Having attended the Nautical Institute, Dario Samer soon became an employee of the British shipping company Ellerman & Wilson, that ceased activities since the beginning of the current millennium.

Ellerman's Trieste office was taken over by the Samer family at the end of the 70s, and in 1981 Dario Samer became the company's first non-British manager, until Samer & Co. Shipping Spa was established in 1985.

Samer had also collaborated with London's Lloyd's, within the insurance sector, acting  as Agent for Italy on behalf of several state-owned shipping companies, such as those flying the Ethiopian, Argentine, Czechoslovak, Indian, Nigerian and above all Turkish flags.

He had very close relations with Turkish Cargo Lines, Saffet Ulusoy and UN Ro-Ro, and between the late 80s and the early 90s, when Yugoslavia was divided into several independent republics, he played a vital role in the transformation of most of the Turkish road haulage companies into maritime companies as the Balkan road route became too dangerous.

In 1987, this gave rise to the idea of creating a fixed maritime bridge, preceding the current “motorways of the sea”, between Trieste and the ports of Istanbul, both on the European shore and especially on the Asian one – currently almost exclusive route – to sort out the significant traffic flows that, from the Italian port, head to Europe, especially to Germany, where the socio-economic Turkish colony has been thriving since decades.

At the end of the 90s, his company became also a port terminal operator in Trieste through three sister companies: Samer Seaports & Terminals Srl, focusing on ro-ro traffics and concessionaire of a 150,000 sm area at Riva Traiana Terminal for 3 ro-ro moorings equipped with ramps, Frigomar Srl for project cargo, and Terminal Frutta Trieste for goods at controlled temperatures.

Samer Group currently includes some twenty companies and, besides Trieste, it operates also in Monfalcone, Porto Nogaro, Ravenna, Capodistria (Slovenia), Rijeka (Croatia), Durrës (Albania) and Bar (Montenegro), with offices in Belgrade (Serbia) and Ulaanbataar (Mongolia).

As terminal operator, Samer manages articulated lorries traffic from Europe and Turkey providing several ro-ro services. Sales and operations manager Enrico Samer helped his father, Samer&Co Shipping Chairman Dario, since 1981.

Angelo Scorza

As Seleco cannot wait to get to Trieste, it asked Samer for an area

Seleco's arrival in the port of Trieste, announced last autumn with a presentation at the Municipal Administration head office, is getting closer.

Friuli TV and household appliances manufacturer confirmed its plan to relaunch its historical brand in 2018. Chairman and Managing Director, through the company Twenty – after Aurelio Latella left -  Maurizio Pannella explained that the company aims at a 50 million euro turnover, relying on the Free Port and on an estimated competitive advantage resulting from a 14% reduction in logistics costs.

Besides planning to double its 2018 turnover shortly, Seleco aims at finding a down-town head office for its commercial and administrative offices, and to find a warehouse to start its assembly activity, hiring a dozen white-collar workers and 50 blue-collar workers.

Pannella is dealing with Enrico Samer to rent one of the areas under concession within the New Free Port on a temporary basis. According to local press agencies, the possible collaboration with Trieste-based terminal operator specialised in traffics from/to Turkey would imply negotiations with the Turkish household appliances manufacturer Beko (that may result in a joint-venture) for the supply of components to be installed on Friuli TVs, replacing those that are currently supplied by its Chinese partner.

Meanwhile, the entrepreneur increased the company's share capital to 3.5 million euro, and he is going to make a 25-30 million euro investment. A significant amount of the new products assembled in Trieste – Seleco recently closed its activities in Milan and Como – will be exported by sea, focusing on the Brazilian market.  

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