With a system to promote, projects to develop, and a prominent position to defend, the port of Livorno, present in Berlin at Fruit Logistica – the leading trade fair in the fruit and vegetable sector – showcased a winning organizational model with huge opportunities for growth.
The numbers speak for themselves: the percentage of reefer containers loaded and unloaded in the port has increased steadily since 2019. In 2022, over 29,000 reefer containers were handled: 11% of all full containers transiting along the port’s quays.
65% of these containers were loaded or unloaded at Terminal Darsena Toscana (TDT), a real logistics hub and reference point in the so-called cold chain, with over 890 reefer storage sockets, 80 of which in the inspection area.
Livorno Reefer (LR) terminal is located on the industrial canal. LR, covering an area of 30 thousand square metres, 11 thousand of which are refrigerated warehouses, is the other strategic part of Livorno’s fruit and vegetable supply chain. Together with TDT and Vespucci freight village, which offers 4,500 square metres of refrigerated warehouses for fruit and vegetables, plus an additional 2,000 square metres dedicated to fresh and frozen products, it represents a fully integrated system capable of adapting to the continuous changes and new challenges of sustainable transition, digital transformation, and system integration.
Automatic yard planning of goods flows; automation of quayside activities (with the installation of Optical Character Recognition on cranes); remote monitoring of checking activities, fast lane for the withdrawal of fruit & vegetable produce, a facilitated system for goods transiting in and out of terminal gates thanks to the full digital integration between the GTS3 application for the automatic management of authorizations for the entry/exit of heavy goods vehicles at port gates and the TPCS platform for simplifying procedures for the import, export and release of goods from the terminal. This is what ‘Livorno Cold Chain’ consists of.
“In Berlin we presented ourselves as a perfectly integrated organization,” said TDT’s commercial director, Beppe Caleo, on the sidelines of the Livorno network presentation event, organized this morning under the supervision of the North Tyrrhenian Port Network Authority.
“Over the last few years we have made a considerable number of investments to make our terminal more efficient and secure. We went as far as to completely renew the yard and quayside procedures and automations and to significantly speed up terminal gate exit operations. Today 77% of imported reefer containers are visited by the people responsbile within 48 hours of being unloaded. With such a low dwell time, we are able to send the goods on quickly”.
It is the whole system, however, that guarantees excellent performance, providing a set of end-to-end services covering the entire logistics process and supporting supply chain management in any given part of the cold chain, in any capacity and at any location.
From this point of view, the Amerigo Vespucci freight village has a strategic role in the fruit and vegetable supply chain, also because the port does not end with the quays: ‘System integration helps the port and the freight village to grow, offering additional services and areas to those available in the terminals,’ said the CEO of the freight village, Raffaello Cioni.
Over the next two years the freight village aims to double its network of cold storage warehouses. In March, the new 3000-pallet facility will be fully operational, while the Port Network Authority will soon receive 14 million euro from the Ministry of Agriculture, 10 million of which from NRRP funds, to be used in part for the construction of another 2000 m2 facility.
“We will soon be able to provide highly specialized facilities (with temperature options of down to -31 degrees ) with a good growth potential in the frozen food market,” Mr. Cioni added. He pointed out that “the freight village is increasingly becoming an advanced logistics platform fully integrated with an intermodal transport system, with areas where it is possible to add value to simple goods loading and unloading operations.”
In short, the port has good growth margins in the reefer market. The president of Livorno Reefer, Enzo Raugei, is also convinced of this: “In 2022 we handled 6000 reefer containers. We are counting on acquiring new traffic thanks to the high standard of quality of what we offer, where the synergy between the various links in the chain is a winner.”
A synergy that characterizes Livorno’s relevance in a market that reached a national turnover of 14 billion euros in 2021. “The desire to strengthen the positioning of the North Tyrrhenian logistics node in the cold chain has driven the various stakeholders in the local supply chain to work synergistically in the area and set up something unprecedented that not many other realities have,” said the Port Network Authority’s senior promotion executive, Claudio Capuano.
“The level of interest that Livorno has generated here at Fruit Logistica shows that we are going in the right direction. We are very clear about the potential of our region for this market and we aim to further implement what we offer in the near future.”
Translation by Giles Foster