A projected 11.5% increase in teu throughput this past year has firmly established the Port of Genoa as one of the fastest growing container ports in Southern Europe, where traffic at a number of major ports remains flat. In fact, all four of Genoa’s box facilities have registered sharp increases in traffic. In the first eleven months of this year VTE was up 9.2%, SECH 16.4%, Messina 6.3% and Genoa Port Terminal 57.5%.
Although Genoa is strongest in the Far East-Europe trade corridor, which last year accounted for approximately 35% of the port’s total teu throughput, statistics confirm a surge in other trade lanes: in the first nine months of this year, container traffic to/from North America was up by approximately 17%, South America by 111%, the burgeoning North African markets by 28%, the Middle East by 23% and Oceania by approximately 107%.
A strong performance in the container sector industry has been bolstered by investment programmes by the Port Authority and the terminal operating companies which have successfully catered for new market requirements, such as vessel upsizing.
Completion of dredging operations at Genoa’s terminals have paved the way for the latest generation of containerships and VTE has already handled the 366 m long, 13,000 teu capacity Maersk Eindhoven, the largest ship to have called at the Port of Genoa to date.
Investments in quayside equipment include the acquisition of two new super post-Panamax container gantries at VTE which boosted the number to four super post-Panamax and eight post-Panamax quayside cranes; upgrades to four cranes at SECH Terminal which now has five super post-Panamax gantries and a new super post-Panamax mobile harbour crane which has been installed at Genoa Port Terminal.
In the mid-term, the new Calata Bettolo container terminal is on schedule to be completed by 2014. It will feature a 625 linear metre quay with an alongside depth of 17 m, and it will be equipped to handle 800,00 teu per annum. When the landfill between Ronca and Canepa piers to create new yard space in the Sampierdarena basin is completed in Q1, a further 60,000 sq m of space will be added.