Italy: Traffic of goods by sea up 430% in past 20 years – report


The traffic of goods by sea in the Mediterranean has grown by 430% in the past 20 years, according to figures released in the 4th annual report “Italian Maritime Economy” by the Bank of Naples’ Studies and Research for the Mezzogiorno (SRM) project.

It said 17 Italian ports have surpassed one million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units, used to describe cargo capacity of container ships and terminals) in the past year.

The report said worldwide maritime transport in 2016 surpassed 10 billion tonnes for the first time ever, 20% of which transited the Mediterranean. It’s a growing trend, expected to reach 17 billion tonnes by 2030.

One of the main reasons for the growth is the doubling of the Suez Canal, which, the report said, “is now at full speed, and in the period from January to May 2017 grew by double figures with a 10.6% increase over the previous year. In the past year, 819 million tonnes of goods and about 17,000 ships transited the Canal”.

Territorial Cohesion and Mezzogiorno Minister Claudio De Vincenti said there is a good basis for the development of ports in the Mezzogiorno, which play an important role in three ways.

“First of all, as a connection between the Mediterranean and Europe in the south-north direction, then as an inverted connection with Europe that looks to North Africa and the Middle East to invest and grow those countries, in line with the proposal of the migration compact presented by Italy to the EU,” De Vincenti said.

As for the third way, he said southern Italian ports in the Mediterranean have a particular role.

“They’ve taken on a new centrality in intercontinental traffic with the opening of the second branch of the Suez Canal.

The Mezzogiorno clearly has the priority calling as an essential zone in this new intercontinental role in the Mediterranean,” he said.

The report highlighted how the Italian import-export business by sea has reached 217 billion euros with an average annual growth rate of 4.3%.

It said Italy still has a strong dependence on the sea, which hosts 37% of its intercontinental exchange.

SRM General Director Massimo Deandreis said signs are emerging of a “renewed centrality in the Mediterranean of the world geo-economic context and strengthening of the southern Mediterranean-Suez-Gulf-China route”.

“Italy can benefit from this situation, but needs to invest urgently in train-port connections, on intermodality, and in more efficient port logistics,” Deandreis said.

Italy remains the Mediterranean and Black Sea leader in short sea shipping, with 251 tonnes and a 35% market share, the report said.

Bank of Naples President Maurizio Barracco said the emerging picture shows a Mediterranean that is “increasingly dynamic and central to global routes”.

“Italy is in the middle, and the Mezzogiorno has an advantageous position. But geography isn’t enough, and there’s no shortage of competition. There needs to be a greater awareness of what’s at stake and a serious commitment in order to not miss the opportunities that are emerging,” Barracco said.

Source: AnsaMed

Source from :