Every year one million TEUs bypass our quays and continue their journey to Northern European countries, mainly Holland and Germany, where customs clearance takes place. A real container exodus that is the most serious symptom of the inefficiencies that afflict our country, which the alternative offered by the Northern Range ports still seems to remediate.
Intercepting this flow of goods is the ambition of many operators, and since the beginning of July Enel’s too. In fact, the multinational has decided to enter the logistics sector with a very precise project: to set up a network of customs warehouses in unused facilities adjacent to power plants located near ports and airports and thus provide high added value services.
Hence Enel Logistics, the new company with which the global energy operator aims to inject a positive burst of energy into the national port system, making it more competitive.
“The Enel group thought that its assets that are no longer used, such as fossil fuel power plants that are out of production and strategically located, could meet this demand in the logistics sector, which is first and foremost something Italy needs as well as a business opportunity,” the newco’s CEO Andrea Angelino explained to Port News.
The first pilot projects will start in the areas of the Eugenio Montale power plant in La Spezia and in the Marzocco power plant site in Livorno. “The fact of setting up a network of customs warehouses, starting from Livorno and La Spezia but which could expand if the project develops successfully, will allow customers to benefit from the typical advantages of the suspensive regime of the so-called “border duties”, related to import duties, VAT and excise duties, during storage in any of our goods warehouses, as if they were still abroad” Mr. Angelino continues.
Enel Logistics is betting heavily on Livorno: “We are going to make a major investment in terms of in terms of developing and converting the areas. In our industrial site there are 33,000 square meters ready to be used for this type of logistics activity. With a restyling of some areas, we aim to be operational in the first months of 2021”.
As illustrated by the project’s operation manager, Stefano Pavan, the company intends to build a new 6,000/10,000 square meter warehouse on part of the site. The covered areas would be used for high value activities, such as goods processing, while the remaining part would be used for storage.
“Our goal is start with an efficient and easy-to-use facility, which creates employment and opportunities for local service industries as well, increasing goods traffic in the port area. At our sites, we will also focus on innovative and sustainable logistics.”
Mr. Angelino explains that the project is aimed at all those people in the world who trade and move goods to Europe and who need to use a customs warehouse, also for intermediate processing on site before clearing goods through customs. “This creates job opportunities for all operators in the port area, starting with terminal operators who would see an increase in vessel berths at their terminals.”
The CEO of Enel Logistics wishes to specify that the company does not intend in any way to compete with port terminal operators: “We do not want to steal traffic from other operators, but to bring new traffic, create additional wealth for the area. We have clear ideas about this. We are already making contact with important companies interested in the project. What I can say is that we won’t become terminal operators, but we will only act as infrastructure, without entering into competition with existing local realities, but rather aiming for synergies with those who already operate in ports.”
Implementing container storage, consolidation and deconsolidation, in addition to distribution and sorting activities and any on-site goods processing , for our company represents a clear work opportunity for local industry, which could provide manpower for the artisan activities that might take place in the customs warehouse: “The goal is to create a capillary and integrated logistics platform, so as to intercept much of the flow of goods that are now processed and cleared through customs in ports in other EU countries.”
The manager stresses that in Livorno the project will be developed taking into account the North Tyrrhenian Port Network Authority ‘s port development plans: “We will actively liaise with the Port Network Authority to share strategic choices and to be a valuable asset for the port of Livorno. Our first intent is to collaborate with the institutions to bring benefits to the local community and local companies.”
Mr. Angelino is convinced of one thing: “Reusing existing facilities, in accordance with the principles of the circular economy, will have considerable environmental benefits, thanks to the extended lifespan of the areas to be reconverted, but also economic and social benefits , both through enhancing existing assets and creating new jobs.”
Translation by Giles Foster