Ecomotive - Archive

The Automotive sector injects fuel in its “engines”

Paolo Castiglia

The automotive industry has, in some ways, suffered the worst crisis in decades, due to the Covid19 pandemic, and precisely when the greatest effort had been made to support the country and its resistance to “evil”. We therefore welcome the measures dedicated to the transport and logistics sector provided for in the “Decreto Rilancio, all the more so since recent research by GS1 Italy has also shown an increasing efficiency of the overall logistics and transport supply chain. Let's take a look at the Decree and consider the measures affecting road and intermodal transport. Starting with road haulage, it must be said that the 240 million previously allocated have been increased by another 20 million. The goal of this increase is to further reduce motorway tolls, thus meeting the needs of road haulage companies. Part of the fund will be allocated to the purchase of new trucks with the required ecologic characteristics. In terms of land-sea intermodality, the Marebonus and Ferro Bonus funds have been financed with 50 million to promote both intermodality and the planning of new combined transport services. For air transport 130 million have been allocated to compensate for the recent losses suffered by air transport companies working in Italy - excluding Alitalia for which funding in the region of 3 billion euro has been provided – which are required to comply with the national collective transport contract.

Local public transport also received the due attention, with 500 million to support companies which, due to the containment measures, are bound to witness a decrees in the volume of passengers. In this case, an 80% upfront payment of the TPL fund is planned with a further half a billion in the pipeline. "Alternative mobility" schemes have also been introduced to forfeit the public transport’s reduced capacity. 12 million euro have been earmarked for the purchase of alternative means of transport such as bicycles and electric vehicles for cities with more than 50 thousand inhabitants, provincial and regional capitals and metropolitan cities. Investments in infrastructures include 40 million euro for a “Rescue Fund” to finance companies that have been subject to the recent lockdown, contractor bankruptcies or failure to comply with contract or agreements due to Covid19. But many of the so-called horizontal measures are also bound to affect the sector: among those aimed at all companies, one is the exemption from the payment of IRAP’s balance due for 2019 and the first advanced instalment due for 2020, in addition to the non-refundable grant for those with a turnover of less than 5 million euro. A capital strengthening for companies with a turnover above 5 million euro and the refinancing of guarantees by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti have been planned, in addition to the intervention on all the existing social safety nets for the transport sector.

Now let us move on to the research we mentioned at the beginning: the GS1 Italy study, carried out in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano and Università Cattaneo, a "Mapping of logistics flows in the consumer goods sector in Italy", which analyses the evolution of the Italian logistics chain since 2009: we are talking about a first level sector, given that in a year more than 3.2 billion parcels of consumer goods are transported on trucks and vans throughout the country and delivered to retail outlets. These products fill 68 million pallets every year and arrive at their destination every day to ensure that shelves are always well stocked. Almost three-quarters of the vehicles transporting products from the factories to the large-scale retail distribution platforms leave loaded for more than 90% of their capacity, an increase of 3% over the last decade.

The logistics sector, the research explains, has become more efficient compared to 10 years ago, and costs have been reduced by 160 million euro and CO2 emissions reduced by 97 thousand tons each year. In the 2009-2018 period, the flow of goods between producers and distributers has increased by an average of 20 million parcels per year and the number of products in logistics hubs has grown by 2% per year. However, the system has absorbed this growth without any problems, as 98 deliveries out of 100, take place on schedule.

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