La Spezia port community comes together to handle influx of containers

The port community of La Spezia has come together to offer a number of solutions catered to face the challenge of handling thousands of teu coming into Northern Italy.

Ports will have to temporarily store a significant quantity of containers that cannot be delivered to companies who are now in non-essential business mode for at least the next two weeks.

The government issued the decree on March 22, 2020, and this influx is expected until it is able to relax its measures.

The Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea, Contship Italia Group, Tarros Group, the Association of Shippers, Customs Associations and Consignees of the Port of La Spezia have come together to offer solutions designed to avoid heavy port storage costs and congestion.

Alessandro Laghezza, president of Sistema Porto and the Logistics Section of Confindustria La Spezia, said: “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 business due to the suspension of receiving and industrial activities.”

Solutions include the availability of 100,000 teu of local storage capacity within a radius of 15 km from the Port of La Spezia as well as the intermodal hubs in Melzo (Milan), Dinazzano (Reggio Emilia) and Padua.

Short-haul solutions will be available at Interporto di Santo Stefano Magra/La Spezia including customs clearance, temporary storage and VAT storage.

Potentially, a handling service for palletised loads – thanks to local operations who have combined to share storage facilities and covered warehousing – will also be available.

Contship Italia Group, the company that manages La Spezia Container Terminal, will also offer similar services at its intermodal centres.

Customers will have several integrated solutions available to them during this challenging time, with more storage options and services to meet current market needs.

Daniele Testi, Contship Italia group director of marketing and communications, said: “Contship and its operating companies are able to step-up and respond to this call.

“We are committed to offering all our capabilities and operational resources to help wherever possible the customers and local operators of the Port of La Spezia.”

Factory production in China is recovering, albeit slowly and are now shipping the back log of orders that built up during the lock-down imposed in January and February by the Chinese government.

Three services from Asia call at the Port of La Spezia each week, deploying containerships with a capacity of more than 14,000 teu operated by 2M, THE Alliance and Ocean Alliance.

Carla Roncallo, president of Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea, said: “The Port of La Spezia once again demonstrates its unity with regard to the market.

“By putting itself into its customers shows and identifying short and medium-term solutions that can minimise the financial impact and allow the port to maintain its level of operations.”