23 January 18

Interview with Ennio Cascetta, RAM’s administrator. Connecting Italy for sustainable logistics


Finally the Marebonus implementation decree has been  published in the Official Gazette. Satisfied?

DC] Very. Ministerial Decree 176 dated 13/09/2017 published in the Official Gazette no. 289 of 12/12/2017 is an important measure to encourage the use of the Motorways of the Sea,  Move from the road to the water thousands of Tir for day, reducing traffic congestion and pollution into the atmosphere is the main goal. It is a more sustainable transport from environmental and a  social point of view with fewer accidents. The incentive has a budget of 128 million euro and rewards, in fact, the use of the maritime way compared  land  side for the transport of goods. It also strengthens and promotes one of the Italian excellences, the RO-RO transport where with 93.6 million tons per year we are by far the first in Europe. The total traffics of the Motorways of the Sea (MoS) corresponds to more than 10% of the goods vehicles ∙on the road that in 2016 have circulated on the italian  motorway.

Both the Marebonus and the Ferrobonus, the incentive that stimulates the use of the railway to the trasport of goods , have been instruments highly appreciated by the operators and have contributed to significant increases in sea and rail transport. The incentives – also due to European regulations – are necessarily temporary aspect , but recently You have announced that projects are being studied for a “selective” use of specific forms of incentive. Is it possible to know more?

The results of Ferrobonus and Marebonus for the system are and will be concrete: after the green  light given by the European Commission obtained at the end of 2016, the  Ferrobonus has already seen the submission of applications and the community approval  to extend the authorization until 2019. Now we will start to work for the  Marebonus.
RAM is also promoting, at both national and European level, smart incentive initiatives, based on more sophisticated methods of delivery aimed at further improving the effects of sustainable logistics development of the incentives themselves.
However, I would like to underline a little known fact and the realative great potential fallouts. Between 2014 and 2016, Italian GDP has grown by y 2 percent. Well, this growth has been accompanied by a much larger increase of  freight traffic: + 8.9% of Rail Cargo, + 11.3% of Ro-Ro, + 7.3% of Containers and + 8.6% of vehicles km on motorways. Even more significant has been the growth of the Ro-Ro in the first six months of 2017, with + 9.8%.
Probably the GDP’ s growth, which we all hope is stable and intense, the logistics system will have to respond with growth rates 3-5 times more sustained. A truly challenging challenge to which we can not be found unprepared.

You were appointed as the sole administrator of RAM last July. The joke is easy: after the success of the “cura del ferro”, has the moment of “cura dell’acqua” arrived?

We would not divide the two, on the contrary: my appointment as Sole Director of RAM took place in the midst of the port reform and national logistics initiated by Minister Graziano Delrio, which pushing the sector to operate according to an integrated and truly multimodal strategy – water , iron, rubber and air. To talk only about Autostrade del Mare today would be really reductiv. In short, “La Cura del Ferro” and “La Cura del Mare” are to be done together to rebalance a logistics system too unbalanced on the rubber.

RAM is an in house company of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructures, with a single shareholder the Ministry of Economy and Finance. So far, RAM has played a supporting role in MIT for the development of maritime transport partnerships and projects in the framework of European planning; with the new MIT structure launched under the guidance of Minister Delrio and with his appointment, RAM changes its name and extends its activities. Can we say that it assumes a central role of “strategic planning engine” for not only port and maritime activities but logistics and infrastructures tout court?

It ‘s true, RAM has just changed its name: the original “Mediterranean Motorways Network” has replaced “RAM logistics infrastructure and transport”. The name reflects the expansion of the areas  and the relate responsibility wanted by Minister Delrio and the government, described by the new bylaws approved at the meeting a few weeks ago. RAM will take care of the construction of a data observatory on the logistic system that directs actions, planning, decisions, also holding a role of technical secretariat of the new institution “Logistics and transport partnership”, called to analyze and propose intervention policies in the sector and to submit a report on his health to the Parliament every year.

No overlapping or even invasion of field with respect to the role of the Directorates-General?

Absolutely not. Indeed, we carry out and increasingly carry out a work of help, support and collaboration of the structures of the Ministry. In short, a true in-house company like other ministries, from the presidency of the council to the environment, which does not take away functions and responsibilities to the ministerial structures, but provides a technical support appropriate to the intrinsic complexity of the sector and the considerable expansion of skills and functions that this government has transferred to the directions. Just think of the abolition of the old technical mission structure of the Objective Law and the transfer of all the operations of education and approval of the infrastructure projects to the relevant directions.

Also the corrective decree of the port reform has also formalized new functions.

RAM will perform a support and collaboration task with the National Conference of Coordination of the System Authorities, providing the objective and shared evaluation tools and a system vision of the scenarios of the Italian port, thanks to an observatory that will be structured in order to organize and process a complete and updated data collection – which historically lacks Italian logistics – that can be a useful basis for defining the possible evolutionary trajectories of the port-logistics system. Finally, RAM will support the planning process envisaged under the New Procurement Code (DL 50/2016).

 What are the main objectives that the Italian logistics and transport system must set for the near future?

Infrastructures, simplification, incentives for “water care” and “iron” are the foundations of the strategy promoted by the reform to provide the Peninsula with a sustainable, resilient, efficient logistics, at the service of the national productive economic system. For portualità this translates into project review and project optimization – because it focuses on useful, lean, shared infrastructures – in simplification of governance and procedures, in the Marebonus incentive. A path of renewal of which we already see significant results: from 24 Port Authorities to 15 System Authorities; from the Port Committees to the Management Committees; the Coordination Conference was born, charged with making the choices for the Italian port in terms of infrastructure, planning, promotion and innovation. Furthermore, pre-clearing (or customs clearance at sea) has been activated in 16 ports; 19 fast corridors were implemented (possibility of customs clearance at destination using some controlled railway and road transport corridors); for times and costs in the processes of import-export our country in 2016 reached the first position in the world, with a significant jump from the 38th place occupied in 2014. I do not repeat what has already been said of the incentives Ferrobonus and Marebonus, which carry out the best all-Italian practice of incentives for the “Care of the Iron” and the “Water Care” on which so much work is being done in the context of the reform.

All of this within that long-term overall project that we called “Connecting Italy” with Minister Delrio, or a new season of planning, planning and planning for freight transport and logistics
The real challenge we face today is continuity, that is, the ability to think ahead in time, through a path taken on the basis of widely shared choices. The way taken – as they are confirming all the private and public stakeholders with whom we are confronting, from operators to local administrations – is the right one; we must follow it with conviction.