Port of La Spezia to Grow Container Handling Capacity 33%
Officials from the Italian Port of La Spezia and Contship Italia were in New York City today to discuss new investment in and strategic advantages of this historic port and facilities nestled in the Northwest corner of Italy.
The second largest port in Italy, the Port of La Spezia counts geographic location as its first advantage, boasting a 48-ft. depth and situated on the Mediterranean Sea, the crossroads between Europe, Africa and the Middle East. While Asia dominates trade to and from La Spezia with nearly 45% of its business, New York is the single biggest port of trade by tonnage, and cumulatively the U.S. is accounts for nearly 25% of trade from the port, according to Francesco Di Sarcina, Secretary General, Port of La Spezia. Annually the port handles nearly 1.5 million TEU, 16 million tons of cargo and half a million cruise passengers.
But the port and Contship Italia collectively are embarked on a $381 million investment program, a private-public investment partnership that will extend and build new docks, build and improve port infrastructure including road and rail, and dredge so that the revamped facility can accept the largest containerships if needed (currently it can accept ships up to 14,500 TEU). When completed the port will be able to process two million TEU annually, a 33% increase over capacity today. Contship Italia is a major driver in the port and region, and according to Daniele Testi, Marketing and Corporate Communications Director, Contship Italia – which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019, has been a ‘Port-to-Door’ logistics company since 1969. Contship Italia is unique in that it’s a terminal operator that owns and operates its own intermodal assets, from forklifts to trucks to trains. “We use trains like other companies use trucks,” said Testi, a testament to the 35% of cargo that transits through the Port of La Spezia via rail.