RECENT SIGNALS coming from global manufacturers point to growing Asian demand for goods produced in Europe. What’s your take on that? “European technologies and products are appreciated worldwide, and the Far East is the area with the greatest interest’” answers Piero Lazzeri, Managing Director of BCube Freight Forwarding. “We’re talking about a very large market and one that lacks the risk of slapping duties aimed at Europe; this is the reason why the largest number of freight ships currently in service cover this route.”
What are your company’s prospects?
“The B3 group, with over 600 million in turnover, ranked 7th in the 2016 list of the largest 1,000 Italian logistics companies, we’re constantly growing and we handle multiple activities, something which not all competitors are able to offer, and this makes us a dynamic group, always looking to new opportunities. It’s useful to remember that the world of shipping and logistics is also changing very quickly, and only those capable of positioning themselves among the most forward-looking companies will be able to achieve substantial growth in future.”
What do you think of China’s project of the New Silk Road?
“A country like China, which is striding towards the 1.5-billion-inhabitants mark, must think big and equip itself with large global logistics facilities, such as intercontinental rail services, which are already moving initial freight loads inbound and outbound from various European countries, including Italy. Currently this service is considered a valid alternative for high added value goods, given that using this service saves at least 15 days over the regular sea shipping transit time of goods from China to Italy and vice versa.”
What are the dangers of excessive use of protectionist policies today?
“Historically applying duties has never solved any problem faced by manufacturing companies in any country, previously in the 1930s and again in the early 2000s, the United States had to remove the duties they had put in place to protect their domestic manufacturers, after several companies went under. The economy’s globalization has resulted in competition on an international level, to this Italy must respond with greater research and development of new technologies; to close oneself inside one’s own borders, slapping duties on the goods of those who are more competitive, does not lead anywhere.”
In your experience how do the prospects for Italian ports in the near future look?
“The prospects for Italian ports are generally good, but could be better if we managed to achieve North-European efficiency, and minimize bureaucracy, which is killing us. Perhaps then we could recover a share of the 700-800,000 containers of goods destined for our country that still today go through the ports of Northern Europe, mainly Antwerp and Rotterdam, rather than docking directly at Italian ports.