MONFALCONE – F2i Holding Portuale will bring new traffic to the port of Monfalcone. The will was reiterated yesterday at a meeting organized by the local Propeller to present the network programs that has recently acquired CPM and MarterNeri.
The evening was characterized by a debate on the difficulties of coexistence between cruise traffic and commercial traffic. Difficulties that, however do not seem to affect the intentions of F2i HP, which already in recent months had underlined its intention to invest heavily in the port.
«We import raw materials and export symbols of Italian competitiveness, so we are doing something that goes beyond the simple loading and unloading of ships,» explained Alessandro Becce (CEO of F2i HP) yesterday, illustrating the new scenarios of the port in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Decree on cruises in Venice and the macroeconomic dynamics, as freight costs have favoured the transition from containers to general goods.
Investment capacity and flexibility of the offer with the collaboration between the various locations should be the winning weapons for a relaunch of the port: «Monfalcone can grow further», concluded Becce.
Previously F2i’s president, Umberto Masucci, had also mentioned Arvedi’s traffic as potential news. «We are considering diverting Arvedi traffic to Monfalcone» said Masucci. In particular, it’s a question of making the Friuli Venezia Giulia port of call available to ships (today bound for Marghera) that transport scrap, coils and other finished products for the Arvedi Group’s steelworks in Cremona. The port could also be used for traffic from the cold rolling mill of the former Ferriera in Trieste.
Another critical signal arrived yesterday on the sidelines of the evening when Becce declared that F2i is also working on the project cargo front. To a specific question from Adriaports on the possibility of indicating Monfalcone as a destination in the Northern Adriatic for breakbulk traffic that finds difficulty in the ports of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the answer was positive. «Yes, this is also a hypothesis on which we are working. We would like to bring project cargo to Monfalcone, and for this reason, we are about to buy the necessary quay equipment. These are not operations that can be done in a few days, they take time, but that is what we will do.» In particular, the F2i companies in Monfalcone should soon be equipped with a “millipede”, a multi-wheel system for ground handling of special loads.
The evening organized by Propeller with the title “F2i Holding Portuale SpA in the Port of Monfalcone: presence, role, prospects, relations with the territory” was also characterized by controversy on the role of Article 17. Pieter Flohil (director of the Spliethoff Shipping Company) was calling the workers into question. He announced that he was giving up the port of Monfalcone precisely because of the difficulty of coexisting with cruise traffic. «Our type of cargo is special and requires specialized labour, and Article 17 is not the solution. So far, we’ve been made promises, but we haven’t seen solutions. We are hoping for a change in trend. We hope for a change in trend. For us, the key is always workforce,» Flohil said.
«We did not take action yesterday because it was not the time to do so, but we are offended by those statements. Article 17 personnel are highly specialized, and CPM has always worked with our staff, responded Mitter Mandolini, president of Impresa Alto Adriatico, a supplier of peak labour at the Port of Monfalcone, today.
«Cruises are nuisance traffic, and everyone thinks for their own client and doesn’t give a damn about the port’s traffic, which is instead a unique community and I believe should work for a common interest. If a shipowner says, “I’m not coming to Monfalcone anymore”, he’s talking about the port, and all the companies must have a common interest. Cruises are an opportunity for the Port of Monfalcone and, with all the difficulties involved, we have demonstrated that we can carry out this activity. The director of MSC has always praised the service, and we are proud of this. Having the cruise ship on Saturday and Sunday doesn’t change much for the other trades: there are no perishable goods or delivery of slabs on Sunday. I think that with a little tranquillity, we can live together,» concludes Mandolini.