The Livorno, Piombino and Elba port network closes its first quarter with a turnover of 9.5 million tonnes of cargo; -14.5% compared to what was handled in the same period last year.
If we look at Livorno port, the over 7 million tonnes of cargo handled between January and March means a 17.2 % drop over the same period last year.
The setback is due to the slump recorded in the liquid bulk sector; traffic volumes were down 50% to 928,877 tonnes compared to the corresponding period last year. This result is principally due to the drastic reduction in both crude oil imports (-98.9%) and refined product exports (-92.8 %t). The trend that can be attributed partly to the corporate crisis at the ENI refinery and partly to the effects of the war in the Ukraine.
There was also a – 24.5 % downturn in dry bulk traffic, with a 156,000 tonne turnover. The performance was mainly affected by the grain segment plummeting 96.3% in the first quarter and to a lesser extent by minerals (-14.4%).
The container sector, on the other hand, saw a 5.2% increase on January-March 2021. This was mainly driven by the excellent performance of traffic to and from the hinterland, which was up by 22.5%. Not surprisingly, the number of full containers rose by 15.5% compared to the first quarter of the previous year. Both imports (+4.8%) and exports (+22.7%) improved.
Transshipment traffic was down 37.2% in Q1. This segment currently accounts for 17.3% of total containers handled. Last year, it represented 28.9% percent of the total.
Good news, too, from the breakbulk forest products sector. The quarter ended with a 13.7% increase over the same period in 2021, with a total of 500 thousand tonnes.
On the other hand, both ro-ro traffic (-5.6 % at 121 thousand commercial vehicles) and new car traffic (-18.2 % with 110 thousand units) were down, partially affected by the difficult period the entire automotive sector is going through.
Ferry traffic was up by 63.5% over the same period in 2021 with a total of nearly 167,000 passengers.
Cruise traffic also appears to be gradually recovering from the pandemic-induced crisis in the sector. Three vessels called at Livorno port in the first three months of the year and over 260 ships are scheduled for 2022.
Between January and March, 1,200 passengers arrived and departed from the port’s quays; a 100% increase over 2021.
The port of Piombino’s first quarter was very positive, with traffic was up in all sectors. Its total turnover was 726,000 tonnes (+7.9%) thanks to growth in both ro-ro (+12.4% in tonnes/ +6.6% in vehicles) and bulk traffic (+4.2%).
Positive results were also reported for ferry passenger traffic, which was up by 44.6% over the first quarter of 2021, while cruises are expected to restart from May with nine scheduled calls.
Likewise, the number of vessels calling at the port was up by 20.8% in the first three months of the year.
Elban ports also closed the first quarter on a positive note. The overall turnover was up, thanks to the good performance of RO/RO traffic, which rose by 12.7% with over 336 tonnes of cargo, compared to the same period in 2021.
Similarly, ferry passenger traffic increased substantially by 44%. The number of vessel calls also increased by 16.8% over January-March 2021, while the cruise sector has already begun to get back on course with nearly 80 calls scheduled during the year.
Translation by Giles Foster