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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
04/02/19 11:45

Rixi urged logistics stakeholders to get together to interact with the Italian Government

At the SMI Shipping Meets Industry 2019 Deputy Minister of transports asked to put a stop to internal divisions and advocated cohesion in order to overcome the current challenges Concerns for the delays in the completion of major infrastructures: “Turin-Lyon high-speed railway and the Third Giovi Pass will not enter into operation before 2030”

Milan – Less participants than those expected attended the institutional session of the SMI Shipping, Forwarding, Logistics Meets Industry 2019 organized at the seat of the association Assolombardia by Clickutility and the Milan Propeller Club, with the cooperation of Alsea and Assologistica.

In his welcome speech, chairman Umberto Masucci, as well as President of the Propeller Club, introduced his three vice-presidents Riccardo Fuochi (Milan), Fabrizio Zerbini (Trieste) and Giorgia Boi (Genoa), and announced the foreign mission of the Italian “Rotary of the Sea” in the large ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam scheduled for next April.

Guest star deputy minister of Infrastructures and Transport Edoardo Rixi provided several good hints to stakeholders, thus confirming to be the only representative of the Ministry headed by Danilo Toninelli who really understands these issues.

In fact, he urged carriers and shippers to put a stop to internal divisions and to focus on the same objectives in order to overcome current challenges.

“The maritime cluster must be cohesive in order to interact with the government, thus allowing Italy to keep on growing in the ports segment despite the current epoch-making changes, and to seize all future opportunities”, Rixi started off before rejoicing about recent achievements. “The Ministry finally managed to reconvene the Port Authorities’ conference, and we will do so also for the logistics and road-transport conference. We want governance and territories to work in synergy, and we will simplify the end use of the areas by reducing bureaucracy in order to help Port Authorities seizing every business opportunity”.

Rixi also referred to the letter recently sent by Brussels: “they sent the same message also to Spain, maybe because Mediterranean ports are growing more than Northern Range ones. In the current historical phase, we are in the right place at the right time because the Mediterranean regained its centrality”.

Then he listed the main aspects of this international dispute: “first of all, we need to focus our efforts on the various port systems individually since each of them has different reference markets.

As concerns the cruise sector, we need to find docks for giant ships, therefore we must invest in dredgings and equipped quays.

On their part, shipyards cannot rely only on Fincantieri’s success, therefore we must support small firms within the nautical industry.

Off course, all this depends on infrastructures, on connections and on TEN-T corridors, although not even one of them has been completed in Italy.

As the news of the collapse of the Morandi bridge spread worldwide, if we do not solve this emergency, we might damage international logistics. The viaduct is expected to be rebuilt in one year and a half, and if we manage to complete it in such a short amount of time, we will prove our ability to solve the problems mostly inherited from the past”.

Deputy Minister also pointed out that the completion of the Tirreno-Brennero highway is a priority, “besides the need to set definite timeframes. The Turin-Lyon high-speed railway and the Third Giovi Pass should have been completed 15-20 years ago. However, the former could start only in 2030, and the latter will probably not be fully operative until 2030.

Therefore, we must focus on the old Genoa-Rotterdam route, thus revising several essential works provided for in the program agreement entered into with the Italian Railway Network. In the next few years, an increase of freight capacity by railway from ports is needed, as well as investments in the network so that tracks can reach ports directly, in compliance with government agreements.

The point is that magnitude without functionality is useless. However, changing the procurement code will imply a stop of at least one year and a half for works in progress, therefore we are trying to achieve actual results in reasonable times”, Rixi explained.

Deputy Minister emphasized again the basic problem: “Cohesion instead of divisions: I would like to deal with a single federation of pilots and shipowners, as well as of all the other categories within the transport chain. We need aggregation in order to ensure a better future for the sector”.

Finally, Rixi urged operators to grant their support: “I need the experience of each of you. Italy must not make the same mistakes that Greece made. We must all take the risk to face challenges. As our forefathers rebuilt Italy in the second post-war period, today it is our turn to do so. Therefore, let us all do our best together.

Off course, Italy’s growth depends on the sea and on ports. The logistics route of Northern Italy must go through the Mediterranean again and, being Italy’s economic engine, manufacturers must stop looking towards northern latitudes”.

Angelo Scorza