SRM, Italian ports hold thanks to boom at Gioia Tauro

Italy leader Short Sea Shipping Med. 3.8 bn from PNRR fund

09 July, 15:01

    NAPLES - The eighth annual report "Italian Maritime Economy" by SRM (the research centre connected to Gruppo Intesa Sanpaolo), presented in Naples, showed that the international component of maritime transport is increasingly important in Italy.

    In 2020, trade by sea in Italy reached over 206 billion euros, registering a 17% decrease in 2019, with 99.8 billion euros in imports (-23%) and 106.5 in exports (-10%).

    In the first three months of 2021, sea import/export registered a 3% increase.

    In terms of Italian ports, the report showed a 10% decrease in trade traffic, but goods travelling by container bucked the trend with a 3% increase due mainly to the performance of the port in Gioia Tauro.

    The sea occupies 33% of Italian trade, with road transport occupying 52% of goods traffic.

    China is Italy's main supplier country, with 20.5 billion euros representing 21% of all Italian imports by sea.

    The top client country by sea is the US, at 27.2 billion euros, 26% of Italian exports.

    Ro-Ro traffic in 2020 reached 105 million tons, down 7% on 2019.

    A study by SRM also showed that for every ton that moves by Ro-Ro in Italian ports, 44 kg of CO2 are eliminated.

    Liquid bulk, an important proxy for the energy component of ports, is the most significant product category for Italy in terms of volume, and is therefore strategic.

    In 2020, with a clear prevalence of imports, about 157 million tons were handled, mainly related to the refining demand of petroleum products and the energy demand to be met.

    The top five Italian energy ports (Trieste, Augusta, Cagliari, Milazzo and Genoa) represent 69% of the entire national liquid bulk traffic and Trieste, with 37.6 million tons, has the highest volume in Italy, followed by Augusta and Cagliari.

    Other types of traffic are basically stable; Italy still hasn't managed to increase container traffic and remains "anchored" around 10 million TEU, where it has been for years.

    The year 2020 marked a change, however, given the excellent performance of the port of Gioia Tauro, up 26.6% on 2019, with transshipment compensating the reduction seen at gateway ports, which were down 8.3%.

    Italy remains the Mediterranean leader in short sea shipping, with 244 million tons of goods transported (a 37% market share).

    The Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) includes over 3.8 billion euros for ports, logistics and maritime transport for work to modernise and strengthen ports, the creation of a national cold ironing plan that allows ships to be tied up at port without polluting emissions, green ports, and facilitating intermodality with the creation of the last railway mile in the ports of Venice, Ancona, Civitavecchia, Naples and Salerno.

    Southern Italian ports are a strategic resource for the country, with 207 million tons of goods managed in 2020, for a total of 47% of Italian traffic.

    The south showed greater resilience during the pandemic, with a 3.4% decrease compared to the nearly 10% of Italy overall.

    In import-export, southern Italian businesses use sea transport more intensely than others in the country.

    A total of 57% of the south's trade, worth about 42 billion euros, is conducted by sea, compared to 33% for Italy overall.

    The report also highlighted the strategic importance of Naples' candidacy as a location for the regional Mediterranean headquarters of EMSA, the European Maritime Safety Agency, in order to better relaunch southern Italy's sea economy.

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