Grimaldi: Motorways of the Sea will cut invisible costs of transport
Noise, congestion and pollution will all be reduced by the EU's commitment to sea freight transport, says CEO Emanuele Grimaldi
Motorways of the Sea are a core part of the EU’s solution to anticipated 70 percent increases in freight transport by 2020. Emanuele Grimaldi is one of the heads of international shipping conglomerate Grimaldi Group, which has been a leader in Europe’s motorways of the sea for many years. He discusses the benefits of shifting transportation from road to sea, and the infrastructure needs of these frequent trade routes. He also discusses the innovative collaboration Grimaldi Group is undertaking with other important European brands: a fifth generation vessel which will be the most environmentally friendly ever built.
European CEO: Motorways of the Sea are a core part of the EU’s solution to anticipated 70 percent increases in freight transport by 2020. Emanuele Grimaldi is one of the heads of international shipping conglomerate Grimaldi Group; he joins me down the line.
Why shift from road to see, what are the benefits?
Emanuele Grimaldi: The biggest benefit is to reduce the external cost of mobility. I refer to the noise, the congestion, the pollution; the often invisible costs which are not paid by anybody. These types of costs are paid by the community.
European CEO: What is the difference between an established trade route and a motorway of the sea – what are the different kinds of infrastructure needed?
Emanuele Grimaldi: We could consider a motorway of the sea a more frequent and important service, where you have at least three sailings per week.
The most important infrastructure is actually the ship; the ship has to be seen as a mobile infrastructure. Then of course the other very important infrastructure is the port, and the last kilometre to the port. Because we should avoid in those cases to have congestion.
European CEO: What kind of economic impact might these motorways have?
Emanuele Grimaldi: The economic impact is first of all the reduction of cost. Then of course the reduction of pollution; the reduction of transit time.
I think the ultimate target is cohesion in Europe, and the development of free trade.
European CEO: How is Grimaldi Group set to capitalise on these developments?
Emanuele Grimaldi: For many years I think we have been leaders in Europe of motorways of the sea, and short sea transport.
We are still investing to retain this leadership, and to develop even further, not only in trade and cargo business, but also passenger business.
What we are looking at now is a new generation of vessels: a totally innovative project with a team of engineers, and many important European brands. To make sure that this vessel will be the most environmentally friendly ever built; the vessel that will have the biggest energy savings and economies of scale.
We have recently built the third and fourth generation vessels, which I think are the best vessels that are trading today in Europe; but I think there is an acceleration in the development of ships which are more environmentally friendly.
European CEO: Emanuele Grimaldi, thank you very much.
Emanuele Grimaldi: Thank you.