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“Avoiding domino effect after Morandi Bridge tragedy” / INTERVIEW

Project cargo already lost, very high likelihood of some shipowners opting out of the port.

HOW HAVE Genoese shipping agents as a community reacted to the collapse of the Morandi bridge?
“The initial reaction,” answers Alberto Banchero, chairman of Assagenti, “was to immediately reassure our client shipowners, confirming the port was fully operational. Since the day following the collapse, we’ve tried to present a common front, with a flurry of meetings with the technical commissions to exchange information and gauge the market and clients’ reactions. We took part in numerous working groups with public bodies and other trade associations to try and cope with the emergency, bringing together a series of operational simplifications aimed at improved fluidity of logistics. Assagenti’s secretariat has set up a bilingual information system in order to give timely and up-to-date information on the status of the infrastructure, and on initiatives taken in response to the emergency, back to the headquarters of the shipping companies. All this, to show that Genoa responded promptly, with a view, in particular, to forestall any possibility of hasty repositionings of trade elsewhere, caused by the element of fear.”

What have been the effects on the port and on the businesses you represent?
“Initially, the markets’ response was quite an emotional one, some of our companies were reporting portions of traffic being redeployed to other Italian ports, as a preventive and protective measure. This initial wave of preoccupation was countered thanks to timely and effective communication, and, above all, thanks to railway restoration work and efforts towards opening an alternative route to the sea being quickly undertaken. On the other hand, some of that lost freight share, especially project cargo traffic, is still opting for other ports, as it has trouble reaching the docks at the port of Genoa, following the bridge collapse.”
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