green and tech interviews

Saimare focuses on IT and staff training / INTERVIEW

President Mino Giachino proposes Genoa’s nomination as the venue for a Euro-Africa Institute.

A RECOVERY is around the corner, and Italy’s economy must not miss the opportunity. These are the convictions held by Mino Giachino, president of the Genoa-based company SAIMARE, and former Undersecretary for Transport between 2008 and 2011. “The market,” said Giachino, “is growing, because the global economy is growing. The Italian economic system has yet to make significant advances, apart from the good performance shown by the customs administration. It is unexplainable, and serious, the fact that, for instance, the single window for port controls has not yet taken off. In contrast, the economic downturn has strengthened the competitiveness of private companies, which have had to take measures to remain on the market.” Another critical point is the infrastructure: “The reform of the ports has ushered in new presidents, who are capable, like Paolo Signorini in Genoa. But Italy is slow in building infrastructures. Genoa is waiting for its new dam, and rail upgrades, that will be needed as a result of increased traffic from both the new dam, and the opening of a new high-speed rail link. Operators are concerned about the delay. Also, in Genoa, they’re feeling the pinch of the high costs associated with rail manoeuvres in the port.”

Giachino is, nevertheless, convinced that “Italian logistics are currently able to offer more competitive services, thanks to private companies and Customs.” Among the private companies that provide logistic services, SAIMARE is one of the oldest. Created in the late 1800’s, the then named Espresso Bagagli, was a product of the era of Italy’s colonies in Africa, and later responded to the needs of migrants: it became a joint stock company in 1923, taking the name SAIMARE. Subsequently the company entered the public Finmare group. With the end of the era of state-owned holdings, and the sale of Finmare, SAIMARE was acquired by Aldo Spinelli, together with other stakeholders. Currently, the Spinelli, Cosulich, Scerni and Clerici families form part of it.

“Since last October,” recounted the president, “we have capacity to operate in all Italian ports. We are growing, and at the end of 2017 we expect to see a rise in turnover that will touch the 10 percent mark. We recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pescara Perticone Group, which will allow us to provide customs advisory services to large companies such as Fiat, Thales, and De Cecco, and to extend the reach of our business to Central Italy. Professor Enrico Perticone is currently the greatest expert in customs law in Italy.”

The company invests in IT and training, and looks confidently at the development of North African markets, for which Genoa represents a natural gateway to Europe. So much so, that Giachino is calling for the Ligurian capital to be the site for a centre dedicated to the study of Euro-Africa relations. “Italian ports and Italian logistics companies are providing greater efficiency thanks to improvements in the quality and reach of their own networks. The growth in the global economy is bringing new trading business to Italian ports, but this requires more quality, and the capacity to operate in Italy, as well as abroad, from our operators. SAIMARE is investing, and implementing several IT services in order to guarantee constant interoperability and interface, as well as an unbroken chain of traceability for freight.” The growth of the company, that has 180 employees across Italy, and whose consolidated revenue could exceed 20 million euro this year, will be spurred on by further agreements such as that with the Perticone group. There is also some interest regarding possible acquisitions. “We have a majority stake in Livorno SAIMARE, a fifty percent stake in Gioia Tauro SAIMARE, and a twenty percent stake in Livorno’s Bucchioni firm. We are keen on making further deals and acquisitions in regard to quality companies that are interested in growing. We provide ongoing training to young people entering the firm, many of whom come from the Genoa Nautical School; we have, in particular, a demand for individuals with understanding of foreign languages, and the customs system, for which we’re able to put a tutor at their disposal.”