Rationalising Mediterranean Sea Ways: 

from Southern-Eastern to Northern-Western ports


CAGLIARI, June 16th, 2015. OPTIMED project, funded under the European cross-border cooperation ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin, has been recently presented at the International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition - SIL, one of the most important international events in the field of transportation and logistics, which took place in Barcelona June 9th to 10th, 2015.

The Autonomous Region of Sardinia, the University of Cagliari (Inter-University Centre for Economic Research and Mobility of the University of Cagliari, CIREM), the Port Authority of North Sardinia, the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) and the other partners from Lebanon and Spain have taken advantage of the opportunity offered by the initiative setting up an exhibition space dedicated to the project, and organizing two workshop presentations to enterprises and other stakeholders.

The "Circulo logistico" - the space of the exhibition devoted to the interaction between the representatives of companies in the sector - hosted the "Business to Business" meetings between the various companies specialized in the freight handling sector operating in the Mediterranean basin, that showed particular interest in investigating the feasibility of developing new business relationships through the innovative network system proposed by OPTIMED.

In the framework of the ''8th Meda Port Summit " - international conference organized within the SIL - the first important results of the specialistic studies carried out as part of project activities were presented. The current trading system, by land, will be improved, with a more competitive one, by sea. "For example, nowadays to ship goods by truck from Milan to Kurdistian, on the border with Turkey, it costs 3,700 euro and takes twelve days. While” - explains Gianfranco Fancello, Cirem researcher – “our project will increase the frequency of services by sea leading to a reduction in costs and time around 30 percent. How? With a regular service, a widespread dissemination of connections to smaller ports and, above all, the reduction of waiting times of goods in the yards". From the experts’ reports, it emerges that with Porto Torres as a hub for the northern Mediterranean, the port will be connected with four weekly departures to Valencia and the same to Barcelona, six to Marseille and Seté, seven with Genoa, La Spezia and Naples and eight with Beirut.

During the Barcelona mission, it was also held the official meeting between the General Director of Transport of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia, Gabriella Massidda, the scientific coordinator of the project, Paolo Fadda, the director of the Escola Europea de Short Sea Shipping of Barcelona, Eduard Rodes, and the Director General of Transport and Mobility of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Pedrosa. "The SIL is an occasion for extraordinary international comparison on maritime traffic, a subject which is constantly in evolution. We believe” - says Gabriella Massidda – “to be able to give a contribution, through the Optimed project, to implement the commercial flows by sea, following a path that puts our island at the centre of trade in the Mediterranean. Today's presentation of our project has had very positive feedback, which, together with a joint meeting with the Director General of the Government of Catalonia, Pedrosa, will allow us to strengthen the international relations". For Paolo Fadda "technical comparisons allow us to collect important data to refine the project. The interest shown by Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon, allows us to collect further important information supporting the process of modal shift from wheels to sea ".

OPTIMED has a total budget of 1.9 million euro, with an EU contribution of 90 percent, and is one of 95 projects funded by the multilateral cross-border Cooperation Programme ENPI CBC MED 2007-2013, which is part of European Neighbourhood policies (European Neighbourhood Policy-ENP).

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