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03 October 2022 - Year XXVI
Independent journal on economy and transport policy
10:34 GMT+2
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Mors your life mea
The president of Federagenti highlights that the drought affecting the Rhine and northern European logistics can turn into an opportunity for Italian ports
August 30, 2022
Who said not should one enjoy the misfortunes of others? Federagenti certainly not, given which presents precisely this opportunity.

Not that drought is not a serious problem also for Italy, but for the federation of Italian maritime agents the Northern European malasorte can be exploited by airports Italian ports: «BASF and Thyssengroup, two champions of German industry - explained the president of Federagenti, Alessandro Santi - in recent weeks they are suffering the very serious consequences of a dramatic crisis in the chain of supply of essential raw materials, accompanied by an escalation of costs increased from 20 euros/tonne to 110 euro/tonne. The impact on the country's GDP could result devastating: according to the kiel Institute think-tank in 2018, year in to which Germany had suffered the consequences of a drought comparable even if lower than the current one, it is recorded a decrease of 0.4% of GDP. The Government of Berlin has already required the railways to ensure priority to the traffic of raw materials compared to that of passengers on railway lines now congested».

Santi pointed out that the situation in Germany is aggravated by the reduction in the volume of water of the Rhine, river - ha specified - whose level in the last ten days is plummeted 30 centimeters below the guard level in its stretch narrower and shorter draft at Kaub (west of Frankfurt); trait - underlined Santi - which represents made a bottleneck in the strategic river rib of the central European logistics system: 160 million tonnes in 2020 transported along the 1,300 kilometers that flow between the Switzerland and the Netherlands; for Germany about a third of coal, oil and gas as well as very important quantities of all the essential raw materials for its heavy industry, and agricultural and food.

Remembering that Germany and Holland together represent about 70% of river freight traffic in Europe, while Italy is third last in Europe with only 0.04%, Santi believes that it is now to give effect to the sentence mors tua vita mea. "But today - proposed the president of Federagenti - everything could change: what has been the strength for countries with "deep sea port" but also of a powerful lattice fluvial, allowing to develop a powerful industrial policy (Germany in the first place since the first revolution industrial) could become a critical point in the years to come."

"With the persistence of a climate crisis that always makes more frequent drought seasons - continued undaunted Saints - Italy, with 8,500 kilometers of coastline and with a widespread port status that has never asserted the international chessboard, can return to play his maps in the European logistics scenario: ports and backports efficient, investments in industrial and productive settlements in port areas, with the concrete implementation of SEZs/FTAs could represent a strategic key and much more environmentally sustainable to face the coming decades of a economic world that also from the geo-political point of view will be completely new."

However, Santi specified, to take advantage of the we must wake up to other people's misfortunes: "nothing - he warned - it happens automatically and a strategic enhancement of the sea and of the Italian ports must transit for a new necessary awareness of the national policy called to neglect distorted forms of practical action and to focus on substance: Federagenti a year ago, which seems infinitely far away - he recalled - he had called for the establishment of a "cabinet" of war"; today a Ministry is being promoted from many quarters of the Sea. It does not matter the form - concluded the president of Federagenti - important will be the powers that will be conferred and guaranteed to implement a real and serious policy of the sea".

Sea that could however play tricks. It is it is possible, in fact, that in a few years the Germans will enjoy of Italian misfortunes when global warming, with the consequent rise in sea level, will allow high-draught vessels to reach more easily the Germanic ports, mostly with shallow waters, and instead, it will force Italy to try to remedy the port infrastructure resilience building programmes the climate changes that are already envisaged today, announced, launched, adopted and even financed but which, as well as well we know, they will never be put into action.

Bruno Bellio
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