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03 March 2021 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 08:43 GMT+1

February 8, 2021

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Original news
Agostinelli's harsh call to a sense of responsibility of the port community of Gioia Tauro

The container terminal - warns the COMMISSIONER of the AP - is not at the center of the shipping world and it's not the essential reference for the needs of the shipowner

The Extraordinary Commissioner of the Port Authority of Gioia Tauro, Andrea Agostinelli, has published an open letter to the port community to urge them to demonstrate mutual sense of responsibility and mutual commitment to a moment when the Calabrian port port port seems to return to a critical phase that was hoped to have been overcome with the assumption of on the side of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), through Terminal Investment Ltd. (TIL), of the entire control of the management of the Medcenter Container Terminal (MCT), the container terminal of the Gioiese port.

An explicit letter, up to rawness, which makes it clear the critical issues of the port of Gioia Tauro. Problems that other Italian ports in which the management of the containerised traffic is entrusted to only one operator. Terminal operator also that, being part of a group owner, inevitably inserts the Calabrian port into a network of containerized maritime services that is what msc and the shipping companies with which the group Cooperates. This, of course, involves both opportunities, from that of interest on the part of the shipowner of use a port where it operates a terminal, as well as risks, between which those to become a single-customer port and therefore to be subject to the evolution of the maritime traffic of the only user.

A letter in which Agostinelli urges the community port to which the letter is directed, but indirectly -- you could observe -- even local and governmental institutions that have always spoken of the port of Gioia Tauro as the element in able - alone - to revive the Calabrian economy and - because no -- that of the whole Mezzogiorno, to remain with your feet for land, because the port can so create opportunity and growth, but do not lead to the outline of scenarios far-fetched and illusory.

"The continuous, sometimes nagging, trade union procedures of "cooling", the management of which is devolved to the Port Authority - agostinelli's letter begins - I require reflection, all the more necessary the more necessary the more the image of the docks of the port of Gioia is jarring Taurus these days desolately empty. After a 2020 extraordinary despite the health emergency, and in absolute countertredence on the national scene, in these first weeks of the 2021, port traffic fell sharply, and important trans-ocean shipping lines have been temporarily diverted elsewhere.'

'Congestion of quays, port works to which this Authority also contributes, a partial in operation of mechanical means and excessive slowness port operations - explains Agostinelli - these are the causes of the negative moment that the port is going through. It will not be needless to say , specifies the Extraordinary Commissioner port authority - how the terminal driver is respecting to the letter a very robust investment plan, and three further grues of the latest generation will be placed in dock during 2021, and how the Port Authority is supporting this effort from the point of view of the and in the technical and functional adaptation of the quays. Just as we must not forget how the terminal -- with commitment and sacrifice of all, workers in the first place - both remained operational even in the worst moments of the pandemic and did not one hour of cassa integrazione has been requested.'

"But at the same time- continues Agostinelli - we must know with absolute clarity -- and the circumstances of these days will confirm hardness -- as Gioia Tauro is not the terminal containers at the heart of the world of shipping, and above all is not the essential reference for the needs of the of the shipowner, far from it; other solutions are well possible, in addition to beyond the Mediterranean, where if not the cost of labour, the expediency of port operations is a decisive factor in the choices of shipowners. And the same goes, all the more so, also for the automotive terminal, for which the alternative is even closer and it's called Salerno".

The letter goes on to recall the initiatives that the port has undertaken to ensure the competitiveness of the port in the global containerised maritime market. "We have made available to the port - writes Agostinelli - a new rail gateway, a new, strategic opportunity, at the price of untold bureaucratic difficulties, due to knots unresolved since the time of the construction of the port and to atavistic litigation that we're laboriously trying to bring to solution with the support of the Calabria Region and the dialogue with the Commissioner of CORAP, Regional Consortium for the Development of Productive activities. And we have, in every way and in every circumstance, urged the national "policy" to untie those infrastructure nodes that to date prevent the port of Gioia Tauro to express and put to good use the strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean. And again. Between two weeks the successful tenderer will start work on completion of the west quay, first step to the establishment of a naval repair hub in the port of Gioia Tauro, until five years ago a forbidden dream closed in a drawer.'

In the letter, the Extraordinary Commissioner also urges the port workers to take their share of responsibility, as an essential element of the port community. "But - continues Agostinelli - is on "human capital" that I want to dwell on conclusively. If it is true that terminal operators and the Port Authority are missing very important and substantial investments in the means and infrastructure, I think there's a path yet to be taken on the qualification and enhancement of workers. "Intangible" investments, in the form of attention "training" but also to processes aimed at make them feel "port community", the key to my opinion to make our work well and in continuity our Porto. We will first ask the Calabria Region for a essential support for the training of workers currently registered in the Agency, with a view to a possible transformation of the Agency into an enterprise at the end of the required by the law constitutive of the same. To workers and the trade unions representing them we ask to have our own vision, to feel part of a project that up to two years, between crises and redundancies, seemed an unachilable chimera that today makes Gioia Tauro an unfeasible national "paradox". We ask them to commit themselves, responsibility, self-denial, assuring them of our commitment, our responsibility, our self-denial.

"That dream - concludes Agostinelli - is before us today to us, is the ancient dream of this territory. Just wait to be translated into investments, productivity, retro-port, rail, new jobs. Let us not lose this unrepeatable opportunity.'


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