Transport: Med ports growing as Italy's market share shrinks

2 bn euros, 7,600 jobs lost, Conftrasporto

22 October, 16:00

    CERNOBBIO (COMO) - Italy's ports have gone down 2% of their market share in the Mediterranean with 10 million TEUs, or units of containers, totaling approximately 40 cubic meters, while in other countries overlooking the Mediterranean ports have gained on average 7%, said transport confederation Conftrasporto.
    The data was released at the fifth Forum of Conftrasporto, during which the Report Isfort was presented. If over the past few years Italy had grown like Spain (+5%), according to the transport confederation that is part of retailers' confederation Confcommercio, some ''7,600 jobs'' could have been generated, with an increase in revenue of ''over 2 billion euros'' and ''775 million in added value''.
    Due to ''disconnections between infrastructures'' and ''uncompleted reforms'', according to Conftrasporto, ''from 2011 until 2018 the volume of goods in the Suez Canal has increased by 42% but the Italian port system has only grown 2%''. On the containers' front, between 2005 and 2017, the growth in traffic across ports in the Mediterranean has totalled 46% while in Italy it reached about half that percentage, or 23%, said Conftrasporto. ''Italy is not taking advantage of growth in the seas because it is disconnected inside and with the rest of the world'', the confederation said. In particular, ''scarce accessibility prevents goods from quickly reaching the place of destination and halts the process'' that would contribute to the growth of transport and the economy. The organization also denounced ''chronic slowness'' in implementing reforms.
    Problems highlighted by Conftrasporto included the failed progress of Special Economic Zones. ''Simplification tools to implement them are still lacking and the resources allocated are insufficient'', it said. Dredging is another issue, the organization noted, as it is ''indispensable to allow the passage of increasingly large ships, as occurs in the main European ports''. With the ''climate emergency on the horizon'' and projects in limbo, including in transportation, ''we are the country of uncompleted projects'', it said. Conftrasporto also called for a joint customs agency, a reform that ''has been awaited for 16 years'', to streamline imports and exports.

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