It was announced last month that the Port of Genoa are to strengthen their links with their Mediterranean neighbours, namely Spain and Morocco.
A spokesman for the Western Ligurian Sea Port System Authority of Genoa and Savona, stated:
‘Intra-Med traffic is one of our priority objectives.’
Although the initiative is still in its infancy and the Authority is keeping any official plans under wraps, it has been announced that the port will be liaising with officials from other Mediterranean ports including those in North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The aim is to further develop plans under the Motorways of the Sea scheme.
The Motorways of the Sea initiative was devised in 2010 to develop more efficient and sustainable transport options for the future. Opting for sea travel as opposed to roads to subsequently improving access across Europe.
The new routes will focus on Ro-Ro ferry traffic as data provided shows this is the fastest growing mode of Inter-Med freight transportation. In 2016, analysis showed a 14.5% increase in freight ferry traffic compared to 13% for container vessels.
In 2017, total traffic between Genoa and Northern Africa decreased by 18%. Shipping decreased to 5.6m tonnes compared to 6.8 tonnes the year before. Last year however saw a surge in trade between Genoa and the Middle East, growing 22% from 5.4m to 6.6m tonnes.
There are also provisions being made for short-sea ferry routes.
The Port Authority records traffic popularity both in overall tonnage and TEU.
In terms of tonnage, the Mediterranean contains some of Genoa’s leading trade partners. However, no Mediterranean or any European port made the top ten list for TEU traffic in 2017. Goods from Alexandria, Egypt just scraping eleventh place with less that 50,000 TEU.
It is hoped that my strengthening the Authority’s attention on ferry traffic will improve not just inter-country liaison but also the amount of traffic entering the ports, thus prompting a surge for Genoa financially.
The Port System Authority has a partnership with the Port of Barcelona. The Escola Europea de Short Sea Shipping is a training body recognised by the European Union. Genoa currently holds the presidency and is looking to develop shorter and more readily available sailing options to countries and ports across the Med.
The opposing ports are currently hashing out their offering before revealing the plan to the public.