LA SPEZIA and Marina di Carrara, two ports that for the past two years have been under the joint management of the Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea, are in good health. The projects envisioned by the Authority there are aimed at increasing space so as to accommodate a further increase in traffic, as its president, Carla Roncallo, explained.
“In La Spezia our main goal is to start operating the control center in Santo Stefano Magra by December. The platform is already being used as a railway terminal for forwarding trains. Now we will locate there all the freight, customs, sanitary and phytosanitary controls, as soon as we’re able to conclude procedures with Italian Customs.”
Is it a project linked to the technological modernization of the port?
“Yes, freight must also be tracked with GPS technology, to ensure it’s not lost. Furthermore, we’re bringing to Santo Stefano cold storage, and latest generation molecular scanners. The unified center will allow us to speed up checks, and free up space in the port, where there’s less space than would be ideal for the number of containers. In 2017 we experienced solid growth, to 1.47 million TEUs, a trend consolidated in 2018 (1.485 million); over the first five months of 2019 this trend has held.”
How is the integration of the port of La Spezia into the National Logistics Platform (NLP) proceeding?
“We came to an agreement with Uirnet with certain conditions. We’re still using our old PCS system, which we’ve also extended to Marina di Carrara, where operators did not yet have it. We have to see how the NLP will play out in other Italian ports, if more will join. Meanwhile, we’re in. But we have maintained our PCS, even if managed by Uirnet, so as to have a roadmap.”
What is the situation at the port of Carrara?
“The port has grown a lot; from 1.5 million tons in 2016 we will exceed three million in 2019. We’ve begun a tender for the docks, and two new operators have arrived, plus we’ll add cruises. We’ve begun the process of drafting the strategic system planning document, preparatory to the port regulatory plan (the old one dates from 1981). Expansion is limited to the right of the Caglione river, but there is space. To the west we’ll locate cruises and marinas, to the east the commercial port.”
Regarding containers, Contship left Gioia Tauro and Cagliari: are you worried?
“They’re two very different situations. In Spezia traffic is fine, and there is a 70 million investment program for the expansion of the Garibaldi dock, in addition to the arrival of new equipment. And by the end of the year we’re expecting the port’s dredging projects to be approved, which will take all the depths down to 15 meters.”