Public Money for Short Sea Fleet Renewal in Italy from the Recovery Plan

By | 2020 Newsletter week 50 | No Comments

A first draft copy of the Recovery Plan, which is ‘under construction’ and emerged earlier this week, revealed that some financial resources will be bound directly to the fleet renewal for ferries and more in general vessels deployed on the short sea routes in Italy.

Mainly those active on the routes with the small islands, in the Gulf of Naples (photo), in Sicily and also those deployed in the city of Venice.

The ro-pax fleet renovation is part of a series of measures aimed at modernizing and making shipping and transport more efficient in Italy. Cold ironing systems in the ports, railcars and trucks will also receive some funds under the same program.

“This plan has two main goals. The first is to boost the production and use of modern, environmentally sustainable ships, with relevant positive effects in terms of job creation and mobility” recently commented Vincenzo Petrone, chairman of shipbuilders’ association Assonave. “The second goal is to make up the deficit of investments needed to accelerate the ‘green’ transition of European ships to account for the challenging environmental protection objectives that Europe intends to achieve by 2030”.

FERRY SHIPPING

By | 2020 Newsletter week 35 | No Comments

Some Indications on the Next Tender for the Maritime Continuity in Italy

Italy’s transport ministry officially announced a public consultation among the ferry companies which will last until next September 24, in order to understand which are the operators’ intentions about the maritime continuity with the main islands (Sardinia, Sicily and Tremiti).

The former scheme, through which Rome paid Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione (Moby group) EUR 72 million per year since mid-2012, expired on July 18 but was postponed until February 28, 2021.

First indications reported by the Transport ministry in a purpose-built paper suggest that different tenders might be launched for some specific routes or market areas and that more than one company could operate with public subsidies on the same link. In case of high prices there might be some sort of subsidies directly addressed to the final users, thus introducing the model existing in Spain.

As of today the following routes are those included for the full year in the public subsidies scheme in Italy: Cagliari-Palermo, Napoli-Cagliari, Civitavecchia-Cagliari-Arbatax, Genova-Olbia-Arbatax and Termoli-Tremiti (served with ro-pax ships) and Ravenna-Brindisi-Catania and Livorno-Cagliari (with ro-ro cargo vessels).

The three maritime links Napoli-Palermo, Genova-Porto Torres and Civitavecchia-Olbia are included in the scheme from October to May and operated without subsidies during the summer season.

The Napoli-Palermo is likely to be cancelled as publicly supported line while for all the other routes analyses by the Minister are still underway.

Green Light for a New Ro-Ro Terminal in the Port of Cagliari

By | 2020 Newsletter week 31 | No Comments

Italy’s Council of Ministers gave its green light to the ‘Porto Canale’ of Cagliari’s reorganization plan which remained in stand by for more than two years due to the opposition of the Ministry of environment.

This plan is part of a broader restyling project of the Sardinian port which also includes a brand-new ro-ro terminal set to be realized in a new green field area far from the city’s historical harbour.

The infrastructure will cost roughly EUR 95 million and is designed to host in the first stage up to four ferries or ro-ro ships at the same time. The terminal operator in charge for the management of the new terminal will be found with a public tender in the coming years.

Today the port of Cagliari is regularly called by ships of Grendi Trasporti Marittimi (which already has its own terminal), Grimaldi and Tirrenia Cin.

Public Consultation Launched In Italy Over Territorial Sea-Land Continuity Towards Main Islands

By | 2020 Newsletter week 25 | No Comments

Italy’s transport ministry announced to have launched a public consultation on passenger and freight transport services to and from the main islands (Sardinia, Sicily and Tremiti) for the definition of public service requirements. The notice is addressed to consumer, cargo user, business associations and stakeholders in general.

“This Ministry is in the process of investigating the conditions necessary to ensure the territorial continuity service relating to the service of transport of passengers and goods with the major and minor islands and to define any measures to be taken” is written in statement from the ministry.

“It’s necessary to proceed to consult the main associations and representative bodies of companies operating in the logistics and freight transport sectors, in order to directly acquire indications, observations and proposals in the context of the investigation aimed at ensuring the best possible organization of the services in question, taking into account all the interests involved” it’s also reported. The deadline for submitting comments is June 25.

Public subsidies granted to Tirrenia – Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione (Onorato Armatori group) should expire on next July 18, but the Italian government recently decided to extend them for a maximum of 12 months.

Grimaldi Formally Opposed State Aid To Ferry Companies In Italy And Finland

By | 2020 Newsletter week 24 | No Comments

Emanuele Grimaldi, CEO of Grimaldi Group, exclusively announced to Ferry Shipping News that his company has formally opposed the financial measures decided in Italy and in Finland to support some ferry competitors.

“We have formally contested, both on the local market and in Europe, those measures aimed at giving financial support specifically to some companies and which is selective, discriminatory and capable of distorting competition” Grimaldi said.

Legal actions have been promoted and addressed to Rome and Bruxelles for the EUR 72 million public subsidies extended by the Italian government to Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione (part of Onorato Armatori and operating Tirrenia’s fleet and routes) until 18 July 2021.

A similar action was taken in Finland against the National Emergency Supply Agency which “has already granted financial support to four out of seven commercial operators securing the main maritime bridges for rubber-tired vehicles. Finnlines has also filed an application under this same emergency financial support programme but up to know we did not receive any public aid”. For this reason, Grimaldi sent a letter to the European Union Directorate-General for Competition accusing Finland’s government of providing selective assistance to five ferry operators that compete with Finnlines.

In an interview published in the Wall Street Journal, the Italian owner further added: “Those who are not strong enough to survive should be incorporated by those who are strong. That’s the way it should work, but with the pandemic, it’s not. I’ve never seen so much state interference in shipping,” Grimaldi concluded.

Passenger Transport Between Sardinia And Italy Reopens – Excluded Ferry Companies Protest

By | 2020 Newsletter week 23 | No Comments

Italy’s transport minister announced on June 2nd that passenger transport to and from Sardinia island could re-open.

In a first phase only the ferry company operating the territorial continuity (i.e. Tirrenia – Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione) is allowed to start.

For all the other players operating on the same routes (Corsica Sardinia ferries, Grimaldi, Grandi Navi Veloci and Moby) the restart-date is June 13th.

The same rule applied for air transportation. Only public airline firm Alitalia was allowed to start.

This decision has been fiercely opposed by the shipowners and logistics associations Confitarma and Federlogistica supporting respectively Grimaldi and Grandi Navi Veloci’s interests. They ask the minister to rethink the act, also recalling antitrust issues as the measure would distort competition among ferry operators.

FERRY SHIPPING

By | 2020 Newsletter week 22 | No Comments

Minoan To Launch A New Connection Between Patras, Igoumenitsa And Venice

From next June 4, and until the end of the summer season, Grimaldi Group will link Italy and Greece with a new ropax service calling at the ports of Patras, Igoumenitsa and Venice (Marghera).

This new service was revealed by some media in Greece and already on the website of Grimaldi Group-controlled Minoan Lines.

The Visentini ropax VENICE (former CIUDAD DE CADIZ) will be deployed on the route and the frequency will be twice a week, thus competing with the Greek ferry company Anek Lines.

Grimaldi has been serving the line between Venice, Bari and Patras since 2015 bust just for cargo shipments and currently there are two ro-ro ships serving this line (EUROCARGO GENOVA and EUROCARGO ALESSANDRIA).

Caronte & Tourist’s Fleet Of Ferries Will Be Covid-Free With The Help Of Rina

By | 2020 Newsletter week 20 | No Comments

Following the announcement from Baleària last week, the Italian ferry company Caronte & Tourist is working with Rina Consulting towards being the first operator ‘Covid-free’ in Italy, to obtain the correct instructions for transporting passengers safely next summer.

Before the end of June, Caronte & Tourist will have to implement specific procedures, cleaning plans, organisational and personal protective measures to prevent Covid-19., under the supervision of Rina.

Vincenzo Franza, CEO of the Messina-based ferry company, said that “to be compliant with the new rules, passenger capacity will be reduced 50%, in order to guarantee the necessary social distance. There will also be new procedures and one-way corridors”.

For the very short routes the company will also ask the possibility for the passengers to stay in their cars during the crossing.