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“Italian shippers are leaders in project cargo” / INTERVIEW

Genoa - Piero Lazzeri (Bcube): “National production is slowing down, but operations abroad are expanding”.

THE BREAK-BULK sector handles several different types of goods. One of those, probably the most interesting for the specialties it requires and the profit margins it offers, is the transport of exceptionally sized goods, such as industrial equipment or machinery. Piero Lazzeri, formerly President of Spediporto and Fedespedi, is an expert in so-called “project cargo” shipments, which he used to handle with his forwarding company, Gimax. In 2010, Lazzeri sold Gimax to the Bcube giant ($500 million in turnover) and today is the CEO of Bcube Freight Forwarding: “When operators need to handle goods of weights and sizes exceeding the container standard,” explains Lazzeri, “they need to be creative. It’s not a job for everyone.” Italy has a long tradition in the construction of industrial facilities.

What is the market today for Italian logistics operators that serve this particular sector?
“In the last 30 years, this sector has experienced a dramatic change. In Italy, we used to build factories and power plants, but today, this activity has moved to countries such as China and Vietnam. But although the actual production lines have moved, the headquarters of these businesses are still here. So the freight forwarder is the one they call, if they need to do business globally, from Russia to Africa.”

So the forwarding companies they use are still Italian, but mainly operate abroad?
“Every week I receive between 8 and 10 quote requests from companies wishing us to handle foreign shipments abroad, for example from India to China or from Germany to China. We handle goods that do not travel through Italy. But in Italy there are shipping companies that have this kind of expertise. Our work used to be called “transport architect” and today it has become international.”
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