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Italian firms and operators join forces against coronavirus

The North Tyrrhenian port system is faced with the challenge of managing thousands of TEU coming into Northern Italy that cannot be delivered to companies now running in "non-essential” business mode for at least two weeks.

It takes four weeks for ships from Asia to reach North Tyrrhenian ports. These terminals will now have to temporarily store a significant quantity of containers until the government is able to relax its decree issued 22 March that closed all “non-essential” businesses due to the ongoing COVID-19 virus emergency.

To avoid heavy port storage costs and congestion risks within the terminal as well as transport activities, the port-community (Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea, Terminals of the Port of La Spezia, Association of Shippers of the Port of La Spezia, Customs Association of the Port of La Spezia and Maritime Agents and Consignees of the Port of La Spezia) together with Tarros Group and Contship Italia Group have rallied together to offer a number of solutions including the availability of 100,000TEU local storage capacity within a radius of 15km from the port of La Spezia as well as the intermodal-hubs in Melzo (Milan), Dinazzano (Reggio Emilia) and Padua.

For cargo receivers, short-haul solutions will be available at Interporto di Santo Stefano Magra/La Spezia that include customs clearance, temporary storage, VAT storage and potentially a handling service for palletised loads, thanks to the local operators who have shared storage space and covered warehouses, as well as the customs officers who continue to work at the Port of La Spezia.

Further similar solutions will be available in the intermodal centers operated by Contship Italia Group, the parent company that manages La Spezia Container Terminal.

Each week, three services from Asia call at the Port of La Spezia deploying container vessels with a capacity of more than 14,000TEU, operated by 2M, THE Alliance and Ocean Alliance. Factory production in China is recovering, albeit slowly and are now shipping the back-log of orders which built up during the lock-down imposed in January and February, by the Chinese government.

Customers of the Port of La Spezia will, therefore, have several integrated solutions available during this challenging time, with the possibility of providing regular suppliers more storage options and services in tune with current market needs.

Alessandro Laghezza, President of Sistema Porto and the Logistics Section of Confindustria La Spezia, commented, "It is encouraging to witness this historic moment where shippers in our territory and the management of the Contship Group rallied together in just 24 hours to assess every possible storage and transportation solution available in the short and medium-range, to support port customers who now face another big blow to their businesses due to the suspension of receiving and industrial activities."

"We are committed to offering all our capabilities and operational resources to help wherever possible the customers and local operators of the port of La Spezia. They will be able to access our integrated intermodal solutions" said Daniele Testi,  Contship Italia Group Director of Marketing and Communications.

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