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The Market of Genoa (SGM): from fruit to logistics

Genoa -The future is logistics. And the Mercato di Genova has for a long time been at the forefront.

Genoa -The future is logistics. And the Mercato di Genova has for a long time been at the forefront. In addition to its more traditional activity as wholesale fruit and vegetable market, handling and processing - especially in the agri-food sector, but not only - logistics are now, in fact, among the everyday business strategies of SGM, the Società Gestione Mercato, the firm that coordinates all activities centred around what has now become the Agribusiness Centre of Genoa. “Of course, in this sector, only those who’re best positioned to adapt to changes are able to survive,” explains Stefano Franciolini, the SGM president.

“In Genoa operators have long understood that investing in additional services was necessary. And today, thanks to our business expansion over the last four years, we’re reaping the benefits of this approach.” Within the Genoa Fruit and Vegetable Market area there is a second pavilion entirely dedicated to logistics. It’s here that refrigeration, processing and distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables, individual and food service industry delivery services, trading and marketing of food products, all take place. In this way the Mercato is able to handle the array of services and needs connected to agri-food distribution. Alongside these activities there are numerous companies carrying out logistics activities more closely related to port activities: container loading and unloading, groupage of goods in large warehouses, shipping and transport, customs operations. In this way the Logistics Pavilion allows companies to manage the entire supply chain process, thanks also to the optimization of warehouse spaces, even for highly seasonal products. “Every area of the facility, which I’d like to point out is completely fenced, and operates under supervision 24 hours a day,” stresses Stefano Franciolini, “has a specific destination within a well-coordinated system, from the point of view of schedules and security alike. Some examples? The weighing of containers obtained using the VGM procedure, in accordance with SOLAS norms, takes place along a predefined route for trucks that enter the Market, and the accompanying formalities are handled in the entry / exit area in order to enable haulers to carry out the procedures in a few minutes.” Proximity to the Bolzaneto motorway exit, on the Genoa-Milan line, a few minutes from the port; cutting-edge technologies; ecologically sustainable solutions: to be competitive on international markets, adequate infrastructure is a must.

Our facility is evidence that in Genoa and Liguria logistics do work,” the SGM Genoa president makes clear. “Companies here have innovated, and developed specialized skills. We have joined the Italmercati network, which allows for a continuous synergy with Italy’s main agri-food centres. But we cannot be competitive in the future unless we have adequate infrastructure that allows fast and efficient connections. This applies equally to us and to the Port of Genoa, in order to compete with the large ports of Northern Europe.

“As we face the unfolding of the New Silk Road policy, and its opportunities, we should remember that there are actually two routes: one terrestrial, and the other seawards. Genoa has the potential to be competitive in both. But it cannot remain isolated, and local players must strive towards a shared vision. Ten years after the transfer of our facility to Bolzaneto, we’ve changed our strategies, and started new activities. Now we must seize the opportunities afforded by new commercial routes, which have always translated into improvements to people’s living conditions.