6 August 2015 - The Council of Ministers has definitively approved, as proposed by the Minister of Infrastructures and Transport, Graziano Delrio, the National Strategic Plan for Ports and Logistics, to be adopted by Prime Minister’s Decree. The Plan was prepared pursuant to Article 29 of Decree Law No. 133 of 12 September 2014, amended and confirmed into Law No. 164 of 11 November 2014, the so-called “Sblocca Italia” Law (The Unlock Italy Law).
Its purpose is to improve the competitiveness of Port and Logistics System in order to encourage the increase in movement of people and goods as well as promoting the inter-modality system in freight transport, also regarding the activities of rationalization, reorganization and grouping of the existing Port Authorities.
The Plan defines a strategy to relaunch the Port and Logistics sector to be pursued through the added value of the maritime system and which means a quantitative increase in maritime traffic, as well as defining national policy actions at sector and horizontal level in the different production, logistics, administrative and infrastructure sectors involved, which will contribute to recover the competitiveness of the Maritime System’s economy in terms of productivity and efficiency. The maritime system is considered an active tool for the development of economic, commercial, Euro-Mediterranean Policy, as well as a factor of cohesion and growth of the Southern Italy and finally as a driver for sustainability, innovation and support to the production sector of Italy.
The first part of the Plan assess the aspects affecting the performance of Italian Ports as gateways able to promote the trade activities of economic, production, consumer systems. The aspects related to Euro-Mediterranean agreements are assessed as well as the reference global and geo-economic scenarios, the traffic demand in the different maritime sections, the current infrastructure and services supply. A great part of the Plan focuses on a careful assessment of the existing administrative procedures for customs control and the customs clearance of goods which is one of the main reasons for the weak international competitiveness of the national port system. It is important to note, therefore, the excessive complexity and the lack of homogeneity of the existing legislation, with heavy administrative and institutional procedures burden. Finally, the possible scenarios for demand are set out based on macroeconomic, geopolitical and social analyses as well as the market position of the actors involved in the sector and the structure of distribution networks, for the purpose of reviewing the possible changes in logistics and transport supply chain organization.
On the basis of the analyses carried out, the Plan identifies an integrated strategy which includes projects to be carried out in order to improve port facilities and infrastructures and their accessibility system, both from sea and from land, with the aim of strengthening the role of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea and international trade. The strategy is based on ten strategic objectives to be achieved, divided into specific and detailed actions: simplification and easing; competition, transparency and services upgrading; improvement of accessibility to maritime connections; integration of the logistic system; improvements of infrastructure services; innovation; sustainability; certainty and programmability of financial resources; national coordination and partnership; updating of the governance system.
The current port governance structure is defined by the Law No. 84, 1994 which has shown over the last years limits and clear distortions. The Plan defines the overcoming of “the city-port system” related to Port Authorities, as one of the main factors to be dealt with, considering that such a system produced over time an inefficient allocation of resources and investments also for the lack of a strict national strategy aiming at developing Italian Port system as a whole.
A new model of governance system is therefore proposed, to be carried out by adopting following law reforms, in compliance with the provisions of Art. 29, to Decree-Law No 133 of September 12, 2014, the so-called “Sblocca Italia”, which includes among the instruments to pursue the objectives defined in the Strategic Plan, the rationalization, the reorganization and the grouping of the existing Port Authorities. In particular, the Plan defines an implementation strategy, by the establishment of Port System Authority (PSA).
In the future, however, the Plan is one of the many others sectors which will be included in a wider, multimodal and multisector programmatic document, and mainly, in the Multi-annual Program Document.