For more than 2000 years, the Port of Civitavecchia has been the gateway to the Roman Sea and the Tuscan territory. Located in the center of Italy, 60 km from the capital, Civitavecchia attracts national and international tourism. It is a strategic structure for cruise and turnaround traffic in Italy. Today it represents one of the most dynamic ports nationally and internationally thanks to its infrastructures.
The strength of Civitavecchia lies not only in its large cruise and tourist traffic. Its location in the centre of the peninsula and the possibility to make use of the great spaces it offers make Civitavecchia an essential port for the development of logistics in the centre of Italy.
In 2003, in an attempt to bring the port and port services closer to operators and customers through a dynamic approach using state human, economic and financial resources, Civitavecchia Port Authority incorporated the ports of Fiumicino and Gaeta into its territorial environment, thus constituting the Rome and Lazio port network.
The aim is to redistribute the resources of each port to foster maritime transport and increases in traffic. This is achieved through the expansion of the supply of each port and specialisation. A system-based logistics approach based on sea-rail-road intermodal integration makes it possible to offer national and international customers a great many opportunities for different kinds of goods and also to look for multiple integrated transport solutions through synergies and cooperation with the logistic structures of the territory.
This led to the creation of the slogan “network in progress”. The merging of the ports of Rome is summed up in the abbreviation S.P.Q.R.: guaranteed Security of maritime traffic, passengers and goods through the modernisation and implantation of sate-of-the-art structures and efficient control systems; Projects for the development of all three ports for the economic growth of the surrounding territories; guaranteed and permanent Quality in the offer of services; Rationalisation in port areas and an endless search for new solutions.
Hand in hand with the City Council of the Lazio region and other public and private institutions, the Port of Civitavecchia has accomplished important logistics structures such as the “Civitavecchia Logistics Platform". This logistics structure is located in a decisive position in relation to transeuropean maritime, land and air traffics. It is located very close to the port, connected to the national road network linking to the rest of Europe, the railway network and Fiumicino International Airport.
Other important structures are also planned to increase the supply of logistics, in addition to the logistics facilities of Frosinone, Orte and Tivoli, which are due for completion in the near future.
The growth experienced over the last few years has gone hand in hand with major modernisation work and investments, which have been backed by the administrations concerned, including the Central Government.
Intermodal development is one thing that the Government is hoping for in the Port of Civitavecchia as an integrated interchange node for passenger and goods in what has been called the “Mediterranean corridor”, which has received large financial investments.
Civitavecchia Port Authority has pushed forward its objective of achieving more passenger and cruise traffic. Traffic increased by 70% between 1996 and 2004. The aim for 2005 was to bring about a substantial increase in the tonnage of goods handled. The Lazio port network is specialised in general cargo and high added value goods. Specifically, over the last few years some types of goods have undergone significant increases in absolute value terms:
motor vehicles: 50% increase
bulks and cereals: 40% increase
chemical products: 60% increase
steel by-products: 40% increase
cellulose: 80% increase
containers: 115% increase
It is also important to mention that Civitavecchia is an important oil port, with an annual movement of 4,000,000 tons of petroleum products.
The increase in cruise traffic has also been extraordinary. In 2004 the Port of Civitavecchia received 556 ships with a total of 600,000 passengers. In 2005, it received 711 ships and 1 million passengers. This year the predicted figure is around 900 ships and 1,150,000 passengers. In this connection we should point to the “historic” agreement between the great shipping lines Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean, MSN Cruises and the Port of Civitavecchia. Through this agreement, these giants formed an association to create and manage a new cruise terminal in Civitavecchia. Over the coming years, forecast increases in cruise traffic and the promotion of the ports of Gaeta and Fiumicino will be decisive in the growth of tourism in the Lazio region.
Short Sea Shipping: Civitavecchia, an important Mediterranean port - the turnaround port of the Maritime Highways”.
Short sea shipping represents one of the most sustainable modes of transport from a social and environmental point of view, as well as being financially competitive with road transport.
Short sea shipping is understood as combined road-sea merchandise services, as an alternative to road transport, carried out by Ro-Ro ships between national and international ports guaranteeing frequency, speed and regular departures and smooth internal connections.
In accordance with the efforts supported by the European Union to promote the development of Short Sea Shipping to solve common problems of road congestion and redress the imbalance in the transport system, the ports of Rome and Lazio have undertaken major infrastructure actions to ensure that the ports of Rome and Lazio are equipped with specific areas and berths for Ro-Ro traffic. All of these actions show clearly how cabotage and Short Sea Shipping are clearly at the heart of their concerns.
In this connection, the Port of Civitavecchia is ideally suited for taking full advantage of its strategic geographic position. In addition, the market is responding very well to this mode of transport. The lines that have been set up to date on national and European routes have generated excellent results, which is why the Port Authority and the Administrations concerned are concentrating more investments into infrastructures in order to increase the number of lines that can facilitate this mode of transport and thus offer more flexible and competitive maritime transport to users.
In addition to traditional connections which guarantee territorial continuity with Sardinia, new Short Sea Shipping routes have recently been opened to connect Civitavecchia with the islands and with other Mediterranean countries. Connections have now been consolidated with Sicily and the Spanish ports of Valencia and Barcelona and connection have recently been established with Toulon (France), and the connections with Catania, Tunisia and the Port of Tarragona are due to start operating soon. In addition to these, new "Maritime Highways" are planned for North Africa. Some shippers are already planning new lines to Tripoli, Morocco and Egypt.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that this development has been made easier by the success achieved by the pioneering European coastal shipping line connecting Civitavecchia to Barcelona. After less than a year in service, Grimaldi Group Naples, the ship owner that serves this line, decided to increase the service from 3 times a week to once a day. The line is plied by two mixed ferries carrying both passengers and Ro-Ro cargo and is a genuine "Maritime Highway" that truly competes with the land routes. The speed of these latest generation ships provides competitive advantages, not only in relation to road transport but also to air transport.
The Port of Civitavecchia has opted to strengthen the railway system and promote its use for long, short and medium distance goods transport.
The Civitavecchia railway system comprises the line to Torino-Genoa-Rome-Naples-Reggio Calabria with junctions in Pisa leading to Florence-Bologna and at Grosseto for Siena-Chiusi. In Europe, Civitavecchia has direct connections with the railway network through the Rome-Torino-Ventimiglia-Narbonne-la Coruña lines and through Brennero to North and Central Europe.
The rationalisation works of the Port also involve the “State railways” with the completion of the northern section and the connection between the port and the Rome-Livorno line and the building of a railway station in a northern area of the port with direct connections to the new commercial docks and the new Ro-Ro dock.
In the near future, Fiumicino and Gaeta will have new railway lines that will connect to the existing network to allow an integrated transport supply. At Fiumicino there are plans to build an airport-port link, and in Gaeta, the Gaeta-Formia railway will allow easy access to the Genoa-Naples coast and also to the railway lines flowing inland.
The ports of Lazio and Rome are looking to the future, whilst not losing sight of their rich history, and are pushing forward plans that have been changing their appearance since 1996.
To develop national and international goods and passenger transport, the Port of Civitavecchia is moving forward with the planning execution of major works to change both its ports and its Hinterland.
The three-year works plan proposed by the ports of Rome and Lazio envisages investments of one billion and 700 million Euro to complete the work on the Port of Civitavecchia, to build Fiumicino and redefine a new regulating plan for Gaeta. The aim is not only to build wharves, but also to create a complex transport infrastructure to enable Civitavecchia to become the main logistic structure of central Italy in the heart of the Mediterranean.
Proximity to Rome is important for the Network, since Rome is the main commercial area and the second industrial area in Italy. Gaeta concentrates especially on agri food products due to its closeness to “Fondi”, Europe's largest fresh produce market. At Fiumicino there are plans to build cruiser wharves, Ro-Ro landing stages for Short Sea Shipping, commercial docks for goods sent to CAR, (food product sector)
The need that modern industries have for space for distributing their products has led the port authorities of Rome and Lazio to create a “district-park” that will have a proper modal transport network.
This is the reason behind the building of the Interporto di Civitavecchia. It is a modern intermodal centre located in a strategic position inside the infrastructure system of Lazio, a short distance from the port, the national and European road network, the railway network and Fiumicino international airport.
This structure will provide customers with the following services: a land transport centre with five warehouses for consolidation, container movements, handling and added value of goods; an Intermodal (road-rail) terminal with warehouses with large parking spaces, loading/unloading areas for railways, vehicle services: petrol stations, vehicle maintenance workshops, etc. and services for people such as restaurants, sickbay, post office and bank.
These facilities should allow Civitavecchia to develop an intermodal network integrating the maritime and land structures, while attempting to diversify the services offered and making them more profitable.
Ports of Rome and Lazio: safety and environmental protection
Convinced that security is essential and that a safer port is also more desirable from an economic and commercial point of view, Civitavecchia Port Authority is investing in the facilities of the ports under its jurisdiction to provide them with control systems and anti-terrorist measures.
As far as environment protection is concerned, the Port Authority has progressively set up general services companies, the first of which, set up in 1998, deals with the environmental upkeep and cleaning of the port.
The second, “port utilities", takes care of water supplies, telematic services and energy. Finally, the third, "port mobility", set up with “Italian Highways” is responsible for managing the areas that require emergency anti-terrorist measures: outdoor and indoor parking areas of the port, loading/unloading areas for customers of the “Maritime Highways”, service areas for truck drivers and the new Ro-Ro terminals near the new Traghetti dock, on the northern side of the port. Theses companies also operate in the other ports of the Lazio network.
Furthermore, one of the important works underway in Civitavecchia concerns the reconstruction of the Waterfront, a project that aims to restore an important part of the city's history and cultural heritage. The historical port is being rebuilt and traffic moved to the north, to the areas dedicated to goods traffic, as the new wharves are built.
The positive results are already partially visible: a fishermen's building has been put up on the Roman dock, the Bramante wall and the Fontana de Valvitelli have been restored. This project also involves the building of a large 5-star hotel with 250 rooms in the port precincts. This will not only bring about positive effects for the port, but also for the city and its surroundings.
In March 2005, the new head office of the Civitavecchia port authority was opened in the Emperor Trajan Square and the first stone was laid in a ceremony for the building works of the new commercial port. This is a very important project that will bring about a substantial increase in the number of wharves, available space, terminals, but will especially increase goods traffic and bring jobs.
The visually impressive building with its elegant modern architecture, symbolizes the growth of the Lazio ports. It contains offices, halls and multi-purpose areas that can be changed depending on the institutional tasks of the authority and the activities of its staff.
An important initiative aimed at promoting the ports of Lazio is called “Port TV” and began on October 3rd, 2005. This a television channel specialised in the maritime, port, tourism and cruise sector that broadcasts images, interviews, displays, documentaries, films … From October to December it will broadcast locally for 4 hours a day, and in early 2006 this will increase to 8 hours a day with news about the development of Italian ports, especially concerning the Port of Civitavecchia. Port TV is a “Television Syndicate" and is made up of approximately 70 open-to-air channels spread around the country. In the most densely populated areas of the three ports in the network, Civitavecchia, Fiumicino and Gaeta, 42-inch plasma screens will be set up, broadcasting in a loop around the clock.
Cometi: Consortium of the Ports of the Medio Tirreno
This is a consortium made up of 7 ports: Civitavecchia, Fiumicino, Gaeta, Olbia, Porto Torres, Cagliari, Golfo Aranci.
This association is much more than a link between the seven member ports. It is really a response to the desire to provide a specific response to the need to bring Sardinia closer by offering an exclusive quality service at competitive rates. It is a receptive transport and commercial offer of tourist services allowing Cometi to be the main axis in the international trade network. This consortium also involves the participation of the city councils of Civitavecchia, Cagliari, Porto Torres, Fiumicino, Gaeta and the Chambers of Commerce of Rome, Sassari, Cagliari, Latina and Confitarma. This aggregation between the port authorities and institutions constitutes the most important laboratory-observatory of management methods and approach to new infrastructures for the logistics service and port services.
Escola Europea de Short Sea Shipping - With the support of the European Commission