MONFALCONE – The battle for the quay of the port of Monfalcone, disputed between commercial traffic and cruises, claims the first excellent victim. Spliethoff, a company specializing in various goods and project cargo, suspends the line from the port of Friuli Venezia Giulia to the American continent.
This evening, Pieter Flohil, director of the shipping company, spoke at an event organized by the Propeller of Monfalcone. «We have recently lost traffic because of the “great white elephant” – explained Flohil referring to the summer calls of the MSC -. We felt betrayed as partners. We are not leaving the field so easily, but the new arrangement between F2i and the Port Authority cannot give us answers. At the moment, our ships do not come to Monfalcone».
Reassurances have arrived both from F2i Holding Portuale (the president Masucci and the managing director Becce were present) and from the Harbour Authority, by the general secretary, Vittorio Torbianelli.
The problematic coexistence between white ships and commercial traffic is a novelty this year in Monfalcone after Venice was deprived of most of its passenger traffic due to the Decree with which the Draghi government prevented the passage through the Giudecca Canal. Part of that traffic arrived in Monfalcone, clogging the docks on weekends and causing delays also to Spliethoff, which decided to leave, at least temporarily. In reality, a solution has already been found, moving the mooring of cruise ships, even if the impending winter season has, in fact, postponed the problem until next year.
«Talking about cruises: when someone makes me an offer that says there will be the possibility of having 10% of Venice’s traffic and 4000 jobs, I don’t spit on it,» retorted the mayor of Monfalcone, Anna Maria Cisint, determined not to let lose an important opportunity for the development of the port.
Other complaints from Spliethoff came about Article 17 and the need for skilled labour. “F2i Holding Portuale SpA in the Port of Monfalcone: presence, role, prospects, relations with the territory” was the title of the event organized precisely to present what the Port Company and MarterNeri intend to do to relaunch the port. «By November, the problem will be solved by moving large ships to the pier root. Here you have always had an effective service; then there has been the drainage of the ex art. 17 in favour of the ships from cruise – it has answered the executive director of F2i to Monfalcone, Giancarlo Russo – but we are also discussing this. We all want to develop the port of Monfalcone».
«The cruises are not a threat; we must take the challenge and make it become an opportunity – it has explained Alessandro Becce calmly, ad of F2i HP – increasing the efficiency and reducing the time in the dock of the ships. This means to find an agreement with the social parts to demand flexibility, but also to make investments».
«We will create the conditions so that Spliethof can remain» has confirmed the president of F2i HP, Umberto Masucci, present yesterday in the double role also of national president of the Propeller Clubs.
«The idea that cruises and commercial traffic can be kept together is a challenge. MSC will continue to climb Monfalcone, but there will be changes, with the displacement in the root of the Pier. We are working to various yards,» has explained the general secretary of the Port Network Authority of the Eastern Adriatic Sea, Vittorio Torbianelli, called into question by the director Pieter Flohil.