Fluviomar launches container barge service.
Fluviomar, a public-private joint venture in which the Venice port authority has a majority stake, yesterday inaugurated a new container barge service between Venice and Mantua on the Po inland river system.
The regular service connecting the rich industrial areas of Lombardy with the Adriatic Sea is shortly expected to go bi-weekly. A bulk cargo service operated by Fluviomar between Venice and the inland ports of Mantua and Cremona has been active since January of last year.
Fluviomar, in which commodities giant Cargill is also a partner, operates five barges capable of carrying 100,000 teu per year in its box service.
Plans are also afoot for the creation of a container terminal and distribution facility in Mantua, and discussions are under way with the Italian customs service on processing the cargoes at this terminus rather than in Venice in a bid to maximise the efficiency of the service.
The project to improve and extend the navigability of the Po river system has been heavily backed by the European Union as well as by local governments in Mantua and Venice, the main areas that stand to benefit.