15 July 2019

INSIDE THE INDUSTRY: New intermodal connections strengthen Ravenna’s strategic position

The logistics industry is changing – and so is the small but efficient Terminal Container Ravenna (TCR). Part of the Contship Italia Group’s terminal network since 2002, the gateway on the Adriatic Sea (participated by Contship and Sapir) has developed into a strategic intermodal hub that plays an increasing role in trade between Italy and markets located in central and southern Europe. As more and more cargo originates in the region, TCR has expanded its service portfolio and offers additional connections for intermodal transport.


Positioned on the coast of Italy’s Emilia Romagna, a region that accounts for almost 10% of the country’s GDP, Ravenna offers a variety of efficient connections. It links the gateway with eastern Mediterranean ports and offers numerous intermodal services to destinations in Italy and abroad.

TCR’s offering includes the handling of oversized cargo, dangerous and perishable goods, project cargo and Ro-Ro operations. Being part of the Contship Italia Group, the port benefits from a larger network of extended inland rail links through the Group’s Rail Hub Milano in Melzo, providing many links to southern and central Europe.

Hannibal, Contship Italia’s multimodal transport operator, has recently introduced a new rail connection that links Ravenna to central and northern Europe through Contship’s Rail Hub Milano in Melzo. New links are also available to Rotterdam, Duisburg, Munich, Zurich, Basel and Lyon, underscoring TCR’s significance as an engine for efficient trade.

TCR it is one of the most specialised hubs in northern Italy for the handling of agrifood products, ceramics, textiles, mechanics, cold chain management for refrigerated goods and chemicals. The new links that connect the port of Ravenna with Europe through Melzo are already showing a positive response from the market: the service to Rotterdam is currently carrying an average of 140 TEUs per month, compared to about a dozen monthly boxes last year that were destined for European markets. As additional equipment and the required expertise are readily available, TCR expects to carry up to 500 TEUs per month by including more connections on the freight corridor between Ravenna, Melzo and Frenkendorf (Switzerland) soon.

Interest in the new connections is increasing among local producers and manufacturers with an international scope, in particular among members of Ravenna’s chemical industry. Especially companies within the chemical cluster are using the Ravenna-Melzo-Rotterdam link in both directions. Raw materials sourced in the southern region of the Netherlands travel southbound to the area, where they are processed and sent northbound on the same connection once they are ready to enter the final markets.

There are substantial volumes of perishable products, mostly fruits and vegetables, that reach Ravenna by sea from the eastern Mediterranean for Italian, southern and northern European markets. In May for instance, TCR handled about 700 containers filled with fresh grapes from Egypt. During the first half of 2019, Ravenna recorded a total reefer throughput of more than 3,000. About half of these boxes were unloaded, emptied and the cargo reloaded into clean reefers. They reached their final destinations in Italy and southern Europe by truck. The other half of the reefer volume left Ravenna untouched as part of the cold supply chain process.




TCR Terminal Container Ravenna Connectivity




Small but mighty

Thanks to the new intermodal services, Ravenna has developed into a true logistic hub capable of delivering unique value to customers and markets that want to rely on an integrated and efficient supply chain processes. The port can now easily manage a large traffic volume while ensuring advantages for the environment, local businesses and the economy.

As opportunities for loading both maritime and continental cargo on Ravenna’s intermodal links increase, the small port is expected to position itself as a leading intermodal logistics hub delivering value added opportunities for supply chain management and global trade.



This article is part of CS WINdow, Contship Italia Group's quarterly newsletter, featuring insights on the global supply chain, with a focus on European intermodal logistics. You can subscribe to learn more:


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