green and tech interviews

Guido Grimaldi, the shipowner who wants to run faster and faster / INTERVIEW

HE LEARNED the shipowner’s trade when he was a boy, and it seems that he did well among those of his age.


HE LEARNED the shipowner’s trade when he was a boy, and it seems that he did well among those of his age. An exceptional master and role model helped him achieve this goal: his father Manuel, whom he admires unconditionally and does everything to make him proud. He also has a large family behind him, which motivates him, his brother Eugenio, and all his cousins and those who are involved in the Grimaldi fleet.
He stays in the office until late, he has the good fortune of needing only a few hours of sleep; as an escape and to relax he goes horseback riding, which he has loved since he was a child and in which he takes great pleasure. He spends what little free time he has with his beautiful wife Fabia and their three children. He adores and admires his mother Iliana, a strong and courageous woman who gave her whole family energy and courage at the most painful and difficult of times. He has a special relationship with his grandmother, Paola, the backbone of the whole family. Although he travels for work most of the time, he has Naples in his heart, where he went to university, and where he intends to raise his children. It is his dream to be able to participate in the Olympics as an equestrian. He is proud of the latest addition to the galaxy of Grimaldi Group companies: ALIS, in which he serves as president.

What is ALIS to you and how did the idea come about?

“ALIS is an associative project based on a new concept of representation and transverse representativeness. The idea was born from an intuition of mine and my father’s: we felt the need to create an association that really served the interests of the world of transport and logistics. Probably the success that we have achieved in the last two years results from the total lack of any such collaboration before we created ALIS. The idea was to bring subjects with apparently divergent interests, but which are actually linked within a single chain, together under a single aggregation. Every Italian company today is in fact forced to deal with the logistical need for the sustainable transport of goods, a reality that cannot be ignored. In the space of two years, ALIS has gained 1,300 company members, 140,500 workforce units, 103,000 vehicles, 140,000 annual maritime connections and 120 Motorways of the Sea. Today ALIS is considered the most representative and important transport and logistics association in Italy. In such a short period of time, the association has managed to stimulate the interest of different operators in the supply chain, so that we can count sixteen ports among our honorary members, and many technical colleges and universities, thus promoting the educational pathway of alternating between school and work. I believe that we can now speak of a true “ALIS Cluster”, which can meet and exchange ideas on new collaborative processes involving companies, institutions, academia and civil society.”

How is the association progressing? And what’s the next target?
“In this time period, which has not really been so long, ALIS has faced several challenges together with its partners. One of these is the continental coastal trade, which is favouring both Southern and Northern Italy. There have been significant positive results in terms of intermodality on a number of fronts. The best result achieved to date has been to remove 1.3 million trucks from Italy’s motorways, shifting the traffic to intermodal routes over 600km long. This important result has been achieved through the creation of new national, international, and island and continental coastal trade routes. Among the many objectives pursued by ALIS there is also the harmonization of regulations, the digitization of the entire sector through the use of the electronic CMR, access to employment in the maritime sectors, logistics and road transport sectors.”

How does ALIS move between the motorways of the sea, logistics, hauliers and terminal operators?
“You see, logistics is a science: as is well known, it is the art of calculation, and in order to make policies on the motorways of the sea, road haulage, terminals, etc. that are competitive, I believe that it is necessary to look at cargo storage areas to allow all transport operators to serve the reference markets quickly and punctually, working carefully on every link in the logistical chain. To do this, we need better last-mile connectivity and logistical facilities that can make the Italian maritime system communicate directly with the railway and road network. In the end, ALIS carries out its daily actions according to the following logic: “Infrastructure is a service, intermodality is an obligation, sustainable mobility is a necessity.”

Your life is hectic: how can you reconcile work and family, given that you have a young wife and three children?
“I am an extremely dynamic person, I never stop and fortunately I sleep very little. Moreover, my good fortune is that my true passion is my work, so I don’t mind working so hard, on the contrary it’s fun for me and I like it very much.”