Due to the pandemic, passengers have decreased, but not goods by sea

Editorial board
06 July 2021 10:18

In the black year of the pandemic, the number of containers landed in the ports of western Sicily fell by 10 percent (23,874 in 2020 against 26,769 in 2019) and that of passengers by 41 percent (there were 3,148,944 in 2019 and dropped to 1,856,456 the following year). The only indicator that has maintained the plus sign is that relating to ro-ro traffic, that is to say, road vehicles traveling on board ships, which went from 267,397 to 286,451, with an increase of 7.13 per cent. In this dramatic scenario, companies have tried in every way to face the storm. Osp (Port Operations and Services), which deals with ground services in Palermo, Trapani and Termini Imerese, has exploited one of its flagships and has ‘exported’ the sanitizations even outside the port areas, thus maintaining the employment levels.

Portitalia, on the other hand, has embarked on a virtuous path that in recent months has culminated with a hundred stabilizations and another 95 hires in Clp, the port workers’ company that provides temporary work. These are just some of the data that will be released during the conference on the ‘Role of maritime transport in the Sicilian economy’. Among the various interventions there are those of Federico Lo Presti (consultant CESCO Crif group) who will analyze the economic impacts of the pandemic in Sicily, and of the general manager of Portitalia, Michele D’Amico, who will list numbers and strategies of the maritime economy. An interesting fact certainly concerns the differences that emerged between the ports of western Sicily (Palermo, Termini, Trapani and Porto Empedocle) with those of Catania and Augusta, where the vocation for goods is stronger and where the decline was significant for passengers. (-80.34 percent, from 313.138 in 2019 to 61.574 in 2020) but almost insignificant for containers (-1.59 percent), which went from 63.179 to 62.177, while ro-ro traffic remained almost unchanged (+ 0.09 per cent), rising from 305,811 in 2019 to 306,077 in 2020.

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