A new Diamond Line VAX shuttle service has been launched between Vado Ligure, Italy, and COSCO Shipping’s Mediterranean hub, the Port of Piraeus.
The 700 teu MV ATLANTIC SOUTH feeder vessel made its first call as part of the VAX service at the new deep-sea terminal at Vado Ligure, known as the Vado Gateway, in October.
A key priority for the new connection is the transit-time speed between the two container terminals, connecting Vado Gateway with the main lines to and from the Far and Middle East, India, Oceania and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Vado Gateway is the first semi-automated port in Italy with a fully automated gate and stacking yard and represents a joint venture between APM Terminals (APMT) and COSCO Shipping.
Marco Donati, general manager of COSCO Shipping Lines Italy, said: “Finally, after many years, COSCO has also found its home in Italy.
“And we are proud and strongly motivated to demonstrate to the market that COSCO Ports and APM Terminals will bring considerable advantages to our cluster. Moreover, the start is very promising since the ship was fully loaded both inbound and outbound.”
The 700 m deep-sea berth at the terminal is capable of handling the latest Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULVCs) and up to 1.1m teu per annum.
Paolo Cornetto, CEO of APMT Vado Ligure, said: “Being able to welcome COSCO ships to Vado Gateway is a source of great satisfaction and pride for us.
“The launch of this new connection firms up the partnership started in recent years and marks a milestone in the growth path of our terminal and in its positioning in the Italian and international market.”
Vessels on Maersk’s Med-Middle East-India ME2 service have also called at Vado Gateway since February this year.
Starting in October, Maersk’s Med-North America MMX (L75 feeder) service will move from Genoa to Vado Ligure.
The port rotation is as follows: Barcelona, Vado-Ligure, La Spezia, For sur Mer, Barcelona, Algeciras, Port Tangier and Barcelona.
The Vado Ligure Port complex is accessible via 14 reversible gate lanes, and truck turn times at terminal are kept to a minimum using an advanced appointment system, TERMpoint, which is available online or via an app.
Fully integrated with the terminal operating system, TERMPoint uses optical character recognition to register the license plate of the vehicle and the container number as trucks arrive at the port.
The app also allows truckers to view and change the time of their appointments, check any tasks assigned and enter all the information on the container required before arrival.
This has helped to reduce face-to-face contact at the gate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new off-dock rail facility for both port terminals (four lanes, 450 m length) provides access for up to 14 trains per day to central and northern Europe such as Switzerland, Germany and France as well as regions in Northern Italy.
APMT Vado Ligure has set a target of moving 40% of containers arriving or departing from Vado Gateway by rail.