Contship Italia Group and La Spezia Port Authority recently welcomed a delegation of clients of the Swiss freight forwarder Lamprecht at Contship’s flagship gateway La Spezia Container Terminal (LSCT). Contship, a leading private terminal operator in Italy, showcased the latest developments and major benefits that the Southern Gateway Alternative offers for Swiss seaborne import and export flows.
Twenty managers of several cargo owners and traders visited La Spezia as part of a business tour organised by the freight forwarder Lamprecht. La Spezia is strategically positioned on the Ligurian coast, in a naturally and protected harbour, which provides benefits to Swiss shippers for their trades to/from Far East, Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and North American continent.
Mr Di Sarcina, General Secretary of the La Spezia and Carrara Port Authority, quickly introduced some general facts of La Spezia while Daniele Testi, Head of Marketing at Contship, Nicolò Marrali, Customer Care and Business Development Manager at Hannibal, together with Paolo Califano, Sales Manager at Rail Hub Milano, updated the guests about the main advantages by routing some of their seaborne cargo via La Spezia and using the integrated intermodal solutions offered by Hannibal, the Group’s multimodal transport operator.
Hannibal has upgraded its service between LSCT and Frenkendorf-Basel to five weekly round trips (up to six during the peak season) and offers smart customs services to speed up trade flows, reduce risks and inventory costs. 2018 saw an increase of the cargo volume transported by Hannibal between all Ligurian ports and Basel by 66% year-on-year and La Spezia accounts for more than 76% of this figures.
Contship’s management highlighted several key messages related to sea freight advantages for the southern alternative as well as transit times, inventory costs and connectivity available via La Spezia; factors that continue to be partially unknown or underestimated.
Regarding the new IMO low-sulphur fuel regulations, taking effect in 2020, industry analysts have argued that this development will raise the industry’s fuel bill by USD 15 billion during the first year. By calling at La Spezia, shipping lines are able to save nautical miles in the main east-west trades. For instance, a shipment from Singapore to La Spezia saves almost 1,900 nautical miles compared to shipping from Singapore to Rotterdam and thus enables the industry to substantially cut bunker costs.
At LSCT, Contship recently introduced the world’s first algorithm to optimise channel access and vehicle data connectivity, which lead to improved efficiency of the Ligurian gateway. La Spezia Container Terminal has been the first gateway port in Italy to welcome 14,000 Teus containerships back in 2011 and its performances of over 4 Teus handled per each square meter of yard represent a world benchmark. In addition, the Group started to invest EUR 200 million to increase the terminal’s capacity to 2 million TEU and grow its rail freight share from today 33% to 50% of the overall cargo volume.
Claudio Licci, Director Sea freight of Lamprecht commented: “The participants of our harbor tour were very much impressed by the services the Port of La Spezia and Contship offer to their customers. We believe in the potential and future of this port. We thank all involved for the warm and generous hospitality we were granted and look forward to continuous and prosperous collaboration.”
Daniele Testi, Contship Italia Marketing & Communication Director said, “We are delighted to host Lamprecht’s clients. At Contship we’re always keen to foster a close relationship with market participants and develop our services to cater to market needs”.
Testi continued, “It is a great opportunity for the Group to share our new initiatives and developments, which underline Contship’s commitment to providing added value to customers in the Swiss region by improving the efficiency and quality of the Southern Gateway Alternative through increasing rail service frequency”.