A completely new team
Friday is Italsempione’s busiest day of the week, as groupage consignments bound for Algeciras and Morocco set off from Milan, amongst other tasks. Director Valerio Alpini and Daniele Garavaglia, head of the road haulage division, nevertheless took time out to talk to ITJ editor-in-chief Christian Doepgen. How is cooperation deal with Timar, set up in November 2017, coming along? What else is in the pipeline?
Signori Alpini and Garavaglia – what news from Italsempione since 24 November last year?
Alpini: Our new partnership with Timar, which started on that day in 2017, has borne fruit. We’ve successfully implemented new groupage services to Morocco, together with Timar, which was established in 1980 and which is listed on the Moroccan stock exchange.
Garavaglia: Timar runs hubs in Tangier, Marrakesh and Casablanca, amongst other places, with pan-national distribution – as well as all the way into Tunisia – carried out from those gateways.
How do you manage these services?
Alpini: We’re the most important groupage freight provider in Italy for these overland options. We bundle the cargo in our Milan hub on a daily basis.
Garavaglia: The lorries leave Milan for the South of France and Spain every Friday. On Sunday evening they arrive in Algeciras, ready to board the ships for the crossing to Tangier. We deploy two drivers per vehicle in order to be able to offer this schedule.
Are we talking exclusively about overland transport solutions here?
Alpini: No, not exclusively. We also offer our clients connections to Morocco and Tunisia that sail from the port of Genoa on ro-ro vessels.
Looking beyond the Maghreb – what about the situation in the African hinterlands?
Garavaglia: Morocco has been called West Africa’s shopping centre. Many Italian goods that arrive in Morocco proceed from there to Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal...
What kind of goods are we talking about?
Alpini: Groupage shipments contain anything and everything. I could mention classical Italian export products such as textiles, furniture, leather, as well as electronic equipment, spare parts, machinery...
What is your USP for this traffic?
Garavaglia: Most providers serving the Italy–Morocco route use mainly trans-Mediterranean maritime links. Our overland solutions bring new possibilities into the equation. We make the best of opportunities presented by weekend truck transport options via Spain.
What volume has traffic on this route reached today – and what of the future?
Alpini: We currently dispatch four groupage trucks a week from Milan to Morocco, and two to Tunisia. We’re planning to up these frequencies to six and four lorries respectively by the end of 2018.
What measures have you taken to this end?
Alpini: We established a completely new team here in our offices to manage these groupage services to and from the Maghreb. It looks after marketing in the countries concerned, amongst other things. We’re pretty optimistic – and with reason!
Have you got any other new routes on offer in your portfolio?
Garavaglia: Oh yes. For the past four weeks we’ve been working with our new partner Mainfreight from the Netherlands, a member, as we are, of System Alliance Europe. By handling greater volumes we can afford to offer daily links to and from Milan. Our cooperation with the new partner has started just perfectly.
Alpini: We mustn’t forget to mention Modena either. We now run trucks with groupage shipments to Mainfreight’s cargo centre in ‘s-Heerenberg three times a week.
And beyond that?
Alpini: We recently opened a new service centre in Bozen, in the northern Italian province of South Tyrol. We serve destinations in Austria and Germany from there.
Garavaglia: Last but not least – in November we also expanded our collaboration with the Lauterach-based Austrian enterprise Gebrüder Weiss, extending it into the western state of Vorarlberg. Traffic between Vorarlberg and the Italian region of Lombardy is gaining momentum. The volumes generated on this route also call for the operation of daily connections.