In the last 20 years, the opening of new markets, TLC technologies and transport development have significantly reduced geographical distances and increased trade exchanges.
In addition, supply chains are always more complex because of the localization of new worldwide production centres in the emerging countries.
Consequently, logistics has evolved from a mere activity of goods handling management to a strategic operation on which companies can leverage to be competitive.
1. Geographical position
Italy has a favourable geographical position in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, a strategic location for investments in logistics sector. It is able to intercept trade flows from/to Asia, the Balkans and countries of the Mediterranean coast. This position has a growing importance in view of the new expansion of European Union and the creation of a Euro Mediterranean free trade zone that will lead to the birth of the world’s largest transhipment area.
2. Attractive market
Logistics is one of the most profitable Italian business and it has very high prospects of growth. After the international crisis, a slight recover started in 2010 and signals from transports, transactions and the real estate market demonstrate that this positive period is still continuing. At the moment, logistics represents 7% of National GDP.
In 2010 investments in Italian logistic sector increased of 75% in comparison to 2009. The average returns amounted to around 7,5%, in line with European levels. Market attractiveness is confirmed by the presence of many multinational and/or big companies in Italy; these include DHL Group (Deutsche Post), TNT Group (TNT Post NV), Kuehne + Nagel, Schenker, UPS, Geodis, Fiege Group, Eurokai, Cosco, Evergreen e PSA (Port of Singapore Authority).
As for the real estate market, according to numerous specialized real estate agencies, in 2011 the revenues of logistics structuresis expected to be around 4 bln € of revenues. Some of Italian strengths in this field are the high efficiency levels of structures (class A); the possibility to offer “built to suit” solutions; the flexibility of contracts.
3. Excellent infrastructural equipment
National logistics equipment is based on a set of infrastructures and logistics hubs that, since the second part of the last century, have allowed Italy to develop constantly its socio-economic framework: more than 6.500 km of present highways, with a huge plan of expansion already approved; around 21.500 km of national roads; 24.216 km of rail network (1.370 km High Speed); 3 HUB ports (Cagliari, Gioia Tauro and Taranto) and 21 first level commercial ports; 2 intercontinental HUB airports (Rome and Milan); 25 freight villages.