testata inforMARE

The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports

FROM BICYCLE TO INTERNET

Our roots

In 1882, when the Avvisatore Marittimo sighting ships service was founded in Genoa, the most difficult job for the people working in the kiosk placed at the beginning of Via Jacopo Ruffini, just in front of the entrance of the port, was to advise the subscribers of the service scattered in the several harbour offices of the sighting of a ship. The telephone still didn't exist and the message in order to be useful had to be fast, almost immediate. A quite complicated, but effective machinery was invented. Each nationality was connected to a conventional colour, and the sighting of a steamship was communicated by lifting a disk with the colour corresponding to the nationality of the ship coming in high above the observatory: white if Italian, red if English, green if German... The machinery was placed so as to be clearly visible from the employees of the several port services. My grand-grandfather, Giuseppe Anelli, owner of the observatory of the Avvisatore Marittimo was very proud of his outcomes when he used to tell the history of his first years in Genoa, when he, still young, had come from Berceto, in the neighbourhood of Parma, to embark as a ship boy on any ship that would have carried him to "Merica" (as we called America at those years), he was also proud of the fact that he had given life to this unusual profession, named "the man who reads the ships", as years later he was defined by Cesco Tomaselli in the "Corriere della Sera". And he was satisfied when he used to talk about the difficulties, the obstacles, but also the victories he had been able to achieve in the daily struggle against the lack of effective systems of communication. He succeeded in fact in completing the sighting ship message of the coloured disks system with a kind of door to door communication. He hired a group of strong young boys provided with bicycles, to whom he gave a duplicated leaflet on which he marked the name of the ship, the cargo, the place of origin and all the other data he knew, and then sent it to the customers in the port area. Actually, the system was an additional and very useful information, but not complete. Completeness was reached during the first years of the century when the first telephone lines were built. The calls had to be sorted out through the operator of the telephone company: with regard to the calls from the observatory of the Avvisatore the heads of a shift were got together because of the neverending list of numbers to call. The telephone was an epoch-making event in getting in touch with the subscribers to the service, an event comparable in the world of the written communication only to the advent of the printing characters, then to the linotype, to the computer science and finally to Internet, to which now inforMARE gives its information: it is a service for the consumers who sail in the ocean of Internet in search of news on conveyances. inforMARE is a news-bulletin I occupy myself with, and perhaps the pioneering inclination of the "man who reads the ships" lives again in me, grand-nephew of the inventor of those daring means of data transmission.

STEFANO BELLIO



Today

InforMARE is the on-line news bulletin made available on Internet, devoted to the world of transport. It can be consulted free of charge.
On InforMARE are available all news and data useful to operators and users of the market sector: the forus with main information on the Italian ports, the list of the members of the transport organization (shipowners, shipping agents, forwarders) and of some harbour operators, a list of the shipowners, whose ships land in the Italian ports, with indications of their shipping agents, the organization, the structures, the services and the traffic of the port of Genoa, the integral test of ordinances and decrets of the Autorità Portuale and of the Capitaneria di Porto of Genoa, the terminalists, the sailing list from the Italian ports for the ports all over the world, information on road transport and air transport, the list of the cruises sailing from the Italian ports, frequence, time and price of the sea connections between Italian ports, the main and minor Isles and other ports of the Mediterranean Sea. Furthermore, news on internationals sea trades, events and reporting.
If daily news has to be prompt and complete, InforMARE is also, and above all, a prompt reply to such needs. In preparing texts, databases and other services, the journalists of InforMARE duly considered the users needs, so that to fit any news or information to the needs of those who work in transports.
The demand for an on-line information bulletin required by the hinterland operators is always more numerous and many of the operators are already connected through Internet. The content of InforMARE has been just prepared for a prompt and exact reply to users answers.
The inforMARE service means quickness. Information are updated continuously and can be read by the users in real time. The relationship newspaper-reader is no more slave of the times imposed by the printed paper and not even of TV programs (available at fixed hours). There is no more distance between the journalist and the reader: the advantages, are clear and substantial. It must not be also underestimated the price of connection, really cheap from any port all over the world: a phone call.
The telecommunication means also provide a high level of interaction between the journalist and the reader: with a "straight connection available with the bulletin direction", and therefore with the news database, it is possible to query the computer to have back information or data.
InforMARE is a reference point on Internet for anything concerning transport, particularly for shipping, therefore it is used by foreign seatrade operators: importers, exporters, banks, brokers, loaders or goods receivers...

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