Savona Vado, Genoa, La Spezia: three of the leading Italian ports are situated in Liguria in an arc spanning a-130-km coastline.
These ports provide an efficient port system and logistic service network close to the heart of Europe.
The new challenges faced by the international shipping industry, from vessel upsizing and more rigorous environmental regulations to the increase in the price of fuel, have forced the major operators to review their operational strategies, finding more economical means and new routes to serve the markets. Within this framework, great opportunities are opening up for the ports of the northern Mediterranean, who are called upon to assume the role as premier southern gateway to the European markets.
Consequently, Savona, Genoa and La Spezia find themselves in a privileged and strong strategic position, at the centre of the routes which cross the Mediterranean and close to the heart of Europe. In a radius of 500 km from Liguria sits the industrial and consumer heartland of Central and Southern Europe, which includes north Italy, Switzerland, Austria and south Germany.
The Ligurian ports are connected to Europe by major rail and motorway systems which are important links in the Trans-European Network.Among these is the Genoa-Rotterdam corridor towards Switzerland and Central Europe and the Helsinki-La Valletta corridor towards the Brenner Pass, Austria, Germany, eastern and northern Europe. The first objective of the Ligurian Port Authorities is to improve the efficiency of the transport services on these routes, in order to facilitate and speed up the flow of goods from the quayside to final destination. In particular, Savona Vado, Genoa and La Spezia have launched various initiatives aimed at improving rail transport, developing a system of autonomous management of the service which offers shuttle links between the ports and the hinterland with purpose-built traction vehicles. Specifically, the construction of the high speed rail link across the Apennines (Terzo Valico) on the Genoa-Milan line and the upgrading of the Parma-La Spezia line will connect the three Ligurian ports with the new Swiss tunnels (Lotschberg and Gottardo) and the Brenner Pass towards Austria and Germany.
Liguria is a region which has an age-long seafaring tradition.
The Ligurian Ports association originated from the knowledge that only through close collaboration between the three harbours and by creating a “system” could they hope to play a leading role as a European gateway port to global markets.
Since 1998 Savona Vado, Genoa and La Spezia have taken part in the Ligurian Ports association, with the aim of presenting and promoting in the international shipping community the potential and the services of the Ligurian port system.
The collaboration has received the firm commitment of the Ligurian Region, through Liguria International which supports the projects for the optimization of the Ligurian ports in the global marketplace.
Savona Vado, Genoa and La Spezia are three international ports which have successfully capitalised upon their invaluable experience and specialised areas of excellence, together with exceptionally high standards of service, catering to the requirements of all commodity sectors.
Over 50 terminals, managed by private terminal operating companies, are equipped to handle all key commodities, from containers to general cargo, solid and liquid bulk. In 2014 approximately 79 million tonnes of cargo was handled overall, whilst container traffic reached 3.5 million TEU.
In addition, the Ligurian ports are an important crossroads for maritime tourism in the Mediterranean, from cruises to ferries for the islands. With 2.3 million passengers, Liguria ranks as the top Italian regional destination in the cruise industry. In 2014 passenger traffic exceeded a total of 4.6 million units.