FOR YEARS now, the Mediterranean has been experiencing a crisis due to the well-known social, economic and political tensions that are putting the brakes on its development. How does Tarros, a good example of a regional operator, deal with this situation? How does it intend to adapt to constantly changing, but generally rather unstable, conditions?
Replies Mr. Giovanni Bandini, Tarros Marketing & Sales Manager:
“First of all, I would add that shipping as well has been experiencing negative conditions for years, and has been going through a severe crisis, recently accentuated by a rise in the price of bunker fuel and rentals; also the continuing conflict between the major global operators, which has been going on for some time in our region, and which certainly does not facilitate the return to more favourable conditions.
In any case, our group - originally from Genoa, but based at La Spezia for almost half a century now - operates in the Mediterranean, and continues to show faith in the Mediterranean, bringing continuous innovations to its structure and activities to meet the needs of customers and to ensure a level of personalized assistance that global operators find difficult to provide.Just at the end of May and in this first part of June, we added a fifth ship to further develop our Great Pendulum Service (GPS) which connects the ports of Genoa, La Spezia and Salerno to Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, then returning to Italy to head off again to the West towards Morocco and Portugal. And here, another new feature: this fifth ship allows us to increase the number of ports, and for that reason in addition to Setubal, we will immediately start to call weekly at Leixoes, the port that serves the industrial area in the north of Portugal.
From Leixoes we expect to develop significant traffic towards the eastern countries, but also and above all towards Italian ports, ensuring a ‘Short Sea’ service for containers, which is in our opinion more efficient and more environmentally friendly than the current “all road” or “road-sea” services by ferry.
We also recently launched a collaboration with Procargo Line, the new operator that started a service from Marina di Carrara to southern Tunisia: through this agreement we are offering an excellent container service to the ports of Sousse and Sfax.
And to give shippers the best transport options, we have made new investments in special containers, increasing both availability and types: the range includes all the specials, from Open Tops to Flats and Reefers, with a special focus on the Palletways 40’ High Cube, which we now also offer an exclusive version of, the “Super High Cube”, which we produce directly ourselves and is already in great demand for the transport of very high rolls of paper, for large household appliances and for groupage traffic, which make the most of their 85 cubic meters of usable capacity.
But in the case of truly exceptional cargo, when even special containers cannot be used, problems can be solved by Master Projects & Logistics, the company in the group that specialises in exceptional transport, and is active not only in the Mediterranean but also on the intercontinental market.
And to provide better local assistance in Mediterranean ports, we continue to improve and expand the network of Maritime Agencies which we directly control: soon we will announce the start of activities of a new agency which we recently established in an important port of call in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The “door to door” services, which clients are increasingly interested in, have induced our road carrier “Carbox” to increase its fleet of modern trucks, which is now well over one hundred units, and to equip itself with depots at the most important road junctions in Northern Italy.
And once the containers reach the port of embarkation, our customers, if they think it advisable, can take advantage of our group’s customs, weighing services, boarding assistance, and so on. The group’s next major investment will be for our port terminal at La Spezia, the “Terminal del Golfo”, which will be expanded and developed so that it can continue to offer competitive services, allowing us to prepare as well as we can for the difficult challenges of Mediterranean shipping in the future.”