“ITALIAN companies lead the way in their field, the problem is still the sluggish bureaucracy which characterizes the public sector.” According to Roberto Alberti, chairman of Italy’s federation of freight forwarders, the faults in infrastructure, “is one of the biggest constraints for companies operating in the logistics sector.”
“Completing major infrastructure works in Italy,” said the head of Fedespedi, “often requires waiting periods of several years, and this penalizes all operators working in the transport sector.”
Chairman, have you ever calculated the economic losses Italian companies incur, due to insufficient infrastructure?
“It would be in the tens of millions of euros, but that’s very difficult to estimate precisely. Let’s keep in mind one thing: every minute we lose means some gain that moves away from Italy, and is reaped abroad.”
What are the main projects that Italian freight forwarders would like to see achieved?
“There are definitely several, but perhaps the most important is the Terzo Valico High-speed Railway Line. We are talking about an essential piece infrastructure, especially for the Ligurian ports system. Fortunately, after decades of delays, construction work on the project has begun, and the hope is that we can have a new connection for freight to North Italy, Switzerland and Germany as soon as possible. “
Port and rail upgrades, where does one start?
“With regard to upgrades of the docks, it is necessary to improve all Italian ports so that they’re also capable of accommodating the large latest-generation ships. I applaud what has been done in the port of Naples, where in 14 months the dredging of the seabed will allow for the entry of larger ships. As for rail transport, it’s necessary to keep up the momentum of the so-called “railway therapy”, to increasingly cut down on road haulage, and switch to rail.”
As an association, how are you trying to improve the capacity of logistics in Italy?
“Overall, the 2,200 companies associated with Fedespedi have 80,000 employees, and provide employment to nearly 100,000 self-employed workers, generating revenues of over 20 billion euro a year. The companies associated with Fedespedi, moreover, are present throughout the country, and use all modes of transport in their freight transport activities. As an association we’ve always been committed to playing a key role in the logistics chain, harnessing the understanding and professionalism that spans the many facets of logistics; we’re also eminently suited to promote market globalization. We have a presence in all major employee sector platforms, and are involved in many negotiation processes with the public sector.”
Regarding the weighing of containers there are still problems and delays that slow the flow of goods. What is your position?
“One year from the rules coming into force imposing the mandatory weighing of containers for embarkation on ships, there is still too much confusion. In recent weeks, in our role as Fedespedi, we’ve already denounced this, and we are asking for greater clarity, beginning with the care given to customers.”
What are you asking for?
“We would like companies to designate certified container weighing facilities where they are required by shipping companies, in cases of international sales of goods carried in FCL, and with Ex-works or FCA delivery terms.” “Currently,” he continued, “what happens is that some customers assume that weighing is the responsibility of the freight forwarder, when actually the weighing, which is required for embarkation on board ships, is not part of the ancillary services of shipment contracts.”