LSCT, since its inception, has always handled non-container cargo for loading and discharging on container carrying ships. A number of regular liner services have carried extensive project cargo in the past, with La Spezia personnel developing diverse and specialist skills in handling a wide variety of cargo, still today.
Perhaps more widely recognized in operating ULCC size ships of 150,000 GRT and more, such is the diversity of the La Spezia System, that there is also a considerable volume of bulk and general cargo commodities regularly handled at other berths under the long term concession held by LSCT until 2065: Artom, Garibaldi East, and Paita. These berths primarily serve regular liner services deployed by niche carrier specialists, such as Brointermed, Sahel, and the national shipping line of Algeria, CNAN, all operating both container ships and conventional ships to / from La Spezia and the Maghreb. LSCT handled 355.000 tons of various commodities on some 140 ships in 2015.
Messina Line, specialist Italian operator has now successfully deployed its first of a number of calls, scheduled to discharge West African copper, stuffed in containers, bound to Pisa, Cremona and Brescia , using the La Spezia System as the logical entry point in Italy to serve industry and manufacturing.
Roberto Scotto, head of customer service explains: “This is repeat and seasonal activity. Copper arrives in lots of 2,000 – 3,000 tons lots, stuffed into containers. The task involves the regular discharge handling of containers, then stripping the cargo and subsequent re-handling onto conventional trucks, ensuring a cost efficient delivery to final destination. The empty containers are positioned by train inland for exports. Copper in containers from West Africa is one way of supporting container logistics from a surplus area to a demand area”.
Michele Giromini, Managing Director, LSCT concludes: “Our workers have honed their skills during many years in handling a wide variety of cargo. Whilst containers may attract more headlines, we are extremely interested in serving all kinds of cargo. In 2015, non-container opportunities generated 6% of turnover, so it is an important contribution, from Brointermed, CNAN, Sahel and others, as well as the current traffic from Messina. The movement of the copper required close co-ordination within the Contship Group companies in coming together to satisfy the needs of this specific supply chain routing and container logistics, clearly evidencing the diversity and flexibility of the La Spezia System."