Starting from Thursday (26th March), the North Tyrrhenian port system is faced with the challenge of managing more than half a million TEUs coming into Northern Italy that cannot be delivered to companies now running in “non-essential” business mode for at least two weeks.
It takes four weeks for ships from Asia to reach ports of the North Tyrrhenian Sea. Ports will now have to temporarily store a significant quantity of containers until the Government is able to relax its decree issued 22 March that closed all “non-essential” businesses due to the ongoing COVID-19 virus emergency.
To avoid heavy port storage costs and congestion risks within the terminal as well as transport activities, the operator-community has come together as one group.
It comprises Port of La Spezia, Tarros Group and Contship Italia who met in Sistema Porto (including the Associations of Shippers, Maritime Agents, Customs and Confindustria La Spezia).
They have rallied together to offer a number of solutions including the availability of more than half a million TEU local storage capacity (within a radius of 15km from the port of La Spezia) as well as the intermodal-hubs in Melzo (Milan), Dinazzano (Reggio Emilia) and Padua.
For cargo receivers, short-haul solutions will be available at Interporto di Santo Stefano Magra/La Spezia that include customs clearance, temporary storage, VAT storage and potentially a handling service for palletized loads, thanks to the customers who have shared storage space and covered warehouses, as well as the customs officers who continue to work diligently at the Port of La Spezia.
These short-haul solutions are connected to medium-range container transportation solutions in the intermodal centers operated by Contship Italia, the parent company that manages La Spezia Container Terminal.
Each week, three services from Asia call at the Port of La Spezia deploying containerships with a capacity of more than 14,000 TEUs, operated by 2M, THE Alliance and Ocean Alliance. Factory production in China is recovering, albeit slowly and are now shipping the back log of orders which built up during the lock-down imposed in January and February, by the Chinese government.
Customers of the Port of La Spezia will therefore have a new service available during this challenging time, with the possibility of providing regular suppliers more storage solutions and services directed towards the delivery of goods consistent with current market needs.
The Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea welcomes this strong collaboration initiative to support the vital economic activities in northern and central Italy. These solutions will minimize the economic impact and avoid further sacrifices due to the slowdown in production and orders caused by the virus emergency. Many analysts currently estimate the pandemic could have a double-digit impact on many industrial supply-chains.
“The port of La Spezia once again demonstrates its unity with regard to the market” said Carla Roncallo, President of Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Se. “By putting itself into customers shoes and identifying short- and medium-term solutions that can minimize financial impact and allow us to maintain a certain level of employment at the port, this arrangement also provides us the flexibility and agility to resume operations when there are signs of recovery, which we hope will come soon. ”
Alessandro Laghezza, President of Sistema Porto and the Logistics Section of Confindustria La Spezia, affirmed the effort made to coordinate such a comprehensive and dynamic solution. “It is encouraging to witness this historic moment where shippers in our territory and the management of the Contship Group rallied together in just 24 hours to assess every possible storage and transportation solution available in the short and medium range, to support port customers who now face another big blow to their businesses due to the suspension of activities” .
“Contship and its subsidiaries are able to step-up and respond to this call. We are committed to offer all our capabilities and operational resources to help wherever possible the customers of the port and the systems of shippers, with access to our integrated intermodal solutions that we believe are the mark of the unique offering of our Group” said Daniele Testi, Contship Italia Group Director of Marketing and Communications.