Contship Italia announces major investment plans

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Terminal operator Eurokai and its subsidiary Contship Italia will expand their Mediterranean operations with major investments in terminal handling capacity and intermodal operations in La Spezia and intermodal operations out of Milan in northern Italy.

Contship Italia’s business plan for 2021-2024 includes the opening of its 1.5 million TEU Moroccan facility in Tangiers in January.

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In its business plan the company said, “Some 15 years after the announcement of the concession agreement for Eurogate Tanger (TC2), the new Tanger Alliance terminal (TC3) in Tanger Med 2 will start its commercial operations in January 2021, deploying eight ship-to-shore latest generation cranes (24 rows/54m under the spreader) on an 800m quay and 36 hectares of container yards.”

In addition, plans to develop La Spezia Container Terminal (LSCT) include an extended 524m quay with five ship to shore (STS) cranes, with the ability to handle ultra large container carriers (ULCC) that are 25 containers wide.

According to the business plan, the initial €170 million (US$199 million) LSCT development will add 300,000TEU to the terminal’s current capacity and increase the share of rail transport from the current 32% to 40% of the modal split.

“Short-term goals include the improvement of LSCT’s capability to welcome ULCC with higher tonnage with the support of the new draft available in Fornelli East (-15 m) and Fornelli West (-14 m), the latest to be officially completed by the Port Authority in December 2020. This improvement will immediately support LSCT’s customers with an average additional vessel capacity of 300/400TEU per call,” the company stated.

Additionally, the partners of Terminal Container Ravenna (TCR) on Italy’s eastern seaboard – SAPIR which owns a 70% share and Contship Italia, which owns the remaining 30% – are currently discussing future investments to further develop the container terminal.

Meanwhile, Contship Italia’s intermodal arm Sogemar will shift its focus to offer rail transport and logistics with value added services in the intra-European Union trades, while also maintaining its maritime trade.

Rapid changes in the logistics sector have seen major changes to trade flows, which has instigated the latest move.

“Reshoring programmes and supply/demand evolutions in the maritime business are changing rapidly and Sogemar is adapting its new strategy by consolidating its leadership position on the maritime intermodal activities and expanding its continental rail offering,” said the Italian firm.

Hannibal, the Group’s multimodal transport operator, with over 60 trains/week connecting Genoa, La Spezia and Ravenna with Melzo, Dinazzano and Padua, will support the expected modal shift in Italian port activities.

Increased capacity at the Gotthard Tunnel and new investments in national and international rail hubs, means that Hannibal can expand its offering to Rotterdam and the United Kingdom for continental flows by adding new corridors in 2021 and 2022.

“Additional ambitious projects related to the development of digital platforms will also be announced in 2021,” added the company.

Cecilia Eckelmann-Battistello president of Contship Italia, explained, “These developments will be achieved jointly with the support of Eurokai Hamburg, the controlling owner, who sees Contship Italia as its flagship operator in both Italy and in the Mediterranean region.”