The optimistic Gianluigi Aponte
MSC’s supremo, visiting La Spezia and meeting Contship Italia’s owners, commented the global economy, the container market, cruise business and Grandi Navi Veloci’s situation
Despite current crisis Gianluigi Aponte, supremo of MSC shipping giant, who recently visited La Spezia, looked into the future with clear optimism, possibly pleased by forthcoming enlargement of La Spezia Container Terminal, funded by his group through Marinvest Italian holding in partnership with Contship terminal operator (envisaging a soaring annual handling capacity from 1.3 to 1.8 million TEUs). “We confide Spezia is an excellent port, located between Genoa and Leghorn, provided with efficient rail links” reports MSC’s helm confirming forecasted investments in Genoa new container terminal of Calata Bettolo to be accomplished in a couple of years.Regarding containers market, Aponte reported that his group will still bet on maxi containerships confiding that in the near future shipping companies deploying smaller box ships will definitely be more ailing, while perusing the whole scenarios of containers transport he states that volumes will soar and freights rebates will continue due to overcapacity.
Moreover Sorrento-native shipowner firmly countered Venice off-shore terminal while pinpointing the huge potential of Trieste in terms of commitment and rail links, raising rumours regarding the assumed acquisition of Trieste Marine Terminal whose current owner assessed being “for sale only at a fair price”.
Nevertheless MSC’s helm adds that if banks keep granting no funds they will be forced turning to capital market to support subsidiary Terminal Investment Ltd. (obviously not floating shares on the stock market), eventually raising funds issuing corporate bonds as other competitors such as Maersk Group does.
Regarding its ailing subsidiary company Grandi Navi Veloci, Aponte says “The Ebitda is good, I confide it will revive. Ferries market is undoubtedly fierce and our fleet encompasses rather expensive units urging us tackling a very high depreciation”, adding that newbuilding orders in cruise sector are standing-by awaiting more favourable scenarios, while La Spezia will be probably added within MCS Crociere itineraries.
Globally speaking the Italian entrepreneur expounded that global economy is closely linked to US economy adding that by 2017 the United States will achieve energetic independence thanks to shale gas discoveries, making America and US dollar stronger so as to haul the whole world, including Italy.
Gianluigi Aponte (head of MSC) and Cecilia Eckelmann Battistello (Managing director of Contship Italia), attending the press conference held at La Spezia Port Authority’s premises where the head of MSC reported on his group and on the Italian port operations, regarded Venice offshore terminal as a nonsensical plan. Political dispute between Venice and Assoporti (also involving Genoa, Ravenna and Trieste Port Authorities) concerning 100 million euro allocated to fund the project, couldn’t be left apart.
Battistello reported that “Forecasted failures in the off-shore terminal will be non-profit-making, 100 million euro state-fund needed would be poured away”, while Aponte, as terminal operator and maritime carrier, added that Italy already boasts a sufficient number of ports therefore it would be undoubtedly better investing in existing structures.
“I believe Mr Aponte and MSC’s legitimate interests would be upset by such a plan since the offshore terminal would turn the upper Adriatic into a more competitive site, definitely appealing new competitors currently countered by the oligopoly roosting European seas and Europe-Far East routes”, promptly replies Paolo Costa, President of Venice port Authority, while Lorenzo Forcieri, President of Spezia Authority fostered financial independence of single ports so as to consent a sort of natural selection.
The first MSC’s car carrier calls Genoa
Last week MSC Cristiana, car carrier delivered by STX Dalian Shipbuilding yard in December 2011, sister unit (besides four more ships owned by STX Pan Ocean) of the MSC Immacolata, handed over last April, called Genoa, first car carriers in MSC group’s fleet, that would allegedly also care technical management of the two units, whereas launching a new business typology within Gianluigi Aponte’s network. “The two car carriers belongs to MSC and obviously maintain the group’s colours, nevertheless they were chartered out to Hyundai, Msc Cristiana specifically arrived from Wilmington heading for Port Said” expounded Franco Zuccarino, President of MSC shipagent Le Navi, usually, but not this time, representing Geneva-based group in Italy.
Augusto Cosulich of Fratelli Cosulich, who occasionally cared this loading, confirmed it was a spot operation on behalf of an American charterer, as confirmed by Maurizio Anselmo managing San Giorgio terminal that hosted the ship, loading a Lo-Lo spot cargo (offshore equipments) destined to Abu Dabi.