- We are aware of the Aflas Prize 2017, what would it mean for the port of La Spezia to get this award?
The Port Authority and all the port community of La Spezia were very proud last year about the nomination of La Spezia at the Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) Award in the category "Best Container terminal in Europe". All the port and logistics operators and customers supported with their votes and there was a great cooperation among all of them. La Spezia's network was very strong in supporting the challenge.
- Your application is also supported by the presence among the finalists in the category "Best container terminal in Europe", demonstrating how much the La Spezia system as a whole has acquired a primary importance as a European gateway in the trade between Asia and Europe. Do you want to tell us something about it?
The AFLAS award "Best Container Terminal in Europe" was won last year by La Spezia Container Terminal. The award is the recognition of La Spezia container port at international level reflecting the role of the port as the southern gateway for cargo from Asia to Europe thanks to weekly maritime services, efficient rail connections and innovative solutions for faster customs procedures. Thanks to this award, the port of La Spezia has the opportunity to highlight at international level the key points of its success: the efficiency in port operations, the excellent rail connections to the Italian and European markets, the single governance of the three stations included in the port rail network, the Customs Single Window area in the dry port of Santo Stefano Magra, the pre-clearing and fast corridors procedures that allow to speed up the customs operations and controls on goods, contributing to the reduction of the average container transit time.
- On the other hand, regarding the European railway freight corridors, what do you think about the ScanMed RFC role for the Port of La Spezia?
The port of La Spezia has an important role in the ScanMed rail freight corridor, due to its performance in rail transport (33% of the total container volume is moved by rail). In 2017 the port of La Spezia achieved the best performance in terms of total throughput (1,5 Million of TEUs, + 14% compared to 2016) and number of trains (7,500 trains) to/from the port. The ScanMed corridor is the rail link for the hinterland connections specifically to the inland terminals located in Bologna, Verona, Padova. The rail link La Spezia-Parma could be the direct route to Verona/Brennero but the infrastructure is not compliant with the customers needs in terms of length of trains and maximum axial weight. In this respect the optimization of the rail link is a priority for La Spezia in order to meet the future container traffic expected to be moved by the port (2 million of TEUs of total throughput, 50% by rail) The rail services to/from Milan are performed on La Spezia- Genoa - Milan route, passing through part of the Rhine Alpine Corridor.
- What are your future expectations regarding the Corridor? Any proposal as a partner of the Corridor?
The port of La Spezia and the rail operators are cooperating in the “Pilot for a Coordination between RFC and Terminals & Ports”. We would support further initiatives focused on the integrations between port/terminals and Corridor. As client of the corridor we need the upgrading of the rail performance, in terms of length, loading gauge, maximum axial weight. We need also to speed up the development and use of new technologies for a modern and competitive rail network, specifically in the last mile connection. As Port Authority we are working for the interoperability of IT platforms related to the rail transport at national and international level for sharing information with the Port Community System in order to plan the shunting operations in the best way. We think that the future challenge of the RFC will be the improvement of the efficiency of the last mile connection between port/terminal and Corridor.