Grimaldi launces Antwerp – Cork freight line

The Grimaldi Group is significantly strengthening its presence in the Republic of Ireland with the launch of a feeder ro-ro service between Antwerp and Cork, as from the beginning of May.

The service will have a twice-weekly frequency and aims to strengthen Ireland’s existing connection to the extensive Grimaldi network consisting of over 140 ports worldwide, while improving the transit time and transport service efficiency for rolling freight with destination Antwerp, Grimaldi’s main hub in the North of Europe.

The Grimaldi Group has been operating in the Republic of Ireland for nearly 25 years. Thanks to the successful partnership with Port of Cork Company, it currently runs a regular ro-ro and container service directly linking Cork to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean and, through transhipment in Antwerp, to destinations in North and South America, West Africa and Russia.

Moreover, through its subsidiary Euromed Ireland Logistics Ltd (EMIL), the Grimaldi Group runs its fully equipped ro-ro/multipurpose terminal at Ringaskiddy (Cork) as well as a modern fleet of modern car-transporters, in order to offer high-quality logistics services to the local automotive industry.

The vessel deployed on the Antwerp-Cork service will be the Italian-flagged ro-ro unit Eurocargo Bari, which has a length of 200 metres, a beam of 26.5 metres, a gross tonnage of 32,632 tonnes and a service speed of 23 knots. She can transport 3,850 linear metres of rolling freight as well as 200 cars, thanks to her hoistable decks.

The Eurocargo Bari is a modern environmentally sustainable ro-ro vessel which will considerably improve the carbon footprint of transport between Ireland and the Continent. Moreover, being Antwerp located much closer to Europe’s main production sites and consuming markets compared to other neighbouring ports, the service will bring additional environmental benefits as trucks and trailers will need to cover shorter distances by road.

“This is certainly a pivotal moment for Irish importers and exporters as they are forced to realign their supply chains to a more Euro-centric model”, stated Grimaldi Group Managing Director Emanuele Grimaldi. “We have, therefore, decided to further strengthen our commitment to the Irish economy and respond to the needs of our customers by expanding our business in the country and upgrading our transport services. This maritime connection between our Antwerp hub and the port of Cork will represent a highly competitive and more environmentally friendly alternative to the UK Land Bridge”.

The Group plans to add capacity and improve the new Antwerp-Cork service frequency in the near future.



Maiden call and christening in “her” city for Grimaldi’s Eco Savona

This morning the christening of the vessel Eco Savona took place at the port of Savona.

This is the fourth hybrid ro-ro unit of the innovative GG5G (Grimaldi Green 5th Generation) vessel class ordered by the Grimaldi Group. The brief ceremony was held on the occasion of the ship’s inaugural call in the port of Savona, after she arrived from the Chinese Jinling shipyard located in Nanjing.

The event was attended by representatives of regional and local authorities and of the Savona port community, by some of the Neapolitan company’s main customers and by the Grimaldi Group top management. The ceremony was introduced by the greetings of Ilaria Caprioglio, Mayor of Savona and Godmother of the vessel, Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority System Chairman Paolo Emilio Signorini, Savona Port Maritime Director Francesco Cimmino, Grimaldi Group Corporate Short Sea Shipping Commercial Director Guido Grimaldi and the President of the Liguria Region Giovanni Toti.

At the end of the brief speeches, Don Pietro Giacosa of the Diocese of Savona-Noli proceeded to bless the Eco Savona. The ceremony ended with the cutting of the ribbon and the traditional breaking of the bottle by the Godmother Ilaria Caprioglio.

The Eco Savona is the fourth unit of the GG5G vessel class and one of the largest and most eco-friendly ro-ro ships in the world. With a transport capacity of over 500 trailers, these green giants are able to halve CO2 emissions compared to the previous generation of ro-ro ships operated by the Grimaldi Group, and even to reduce them to zero while they are at berth: during port stays, GG5G-class ships can in fact use the electrical energy stored by mega lithium batteries with a total power of 5MWh, which are recharged during navigation thanks to shaft generators and 350 m2 of solar panels. Moreover, they are equipped with state-of-the-art electronically-controlled engines and an exhaust gas cleaning system for the abatement of sulphur and particulate emissions.

“I wish to thank the Grimaldi Group for giving me the honour of being the godmother of the new ro-ro ship Eco Savona – a hybrid ship capable of reducing emissions in port to zero using electricity, perfectly in line with sustainability policies representing the priority of our Administration, which is declining its strategic actions according to the objectives set by the UN 2030 Agenda”, said mayor Ilaria Caprioglio. “Thanks to this commitment, in 2018 the City of Savona had the honour to open the 10th Anniversary of the Covenant of Mayors and the European Week of Sustainable Energy at the European Parliament. In the face of the current economic and social crisis caused by the health emergency, the real challenge lies in identifying solutions that break away from customary schemes and are capable of tracing new paths aiming at sustainable development: a challenge the Grimaldi Group has already won.”

“The infrastructure and sustainable mobility sectors play a central role in the Italian economy. We are therefore honoured with the choice of an international player such as the Grimaldi Group of naming the greenest ro-ro ship in the world after Savona”, said Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority System Chairman Paolo Emilio Signorini. “We believe that, today more than ever, sustainable change and innovation are crucial to having economic growth capable of generating a positive environmental as well as social impact. It is our main objective to make port operations more sustainable for local communities, and in this perspective the port of Savona has planned a number of actions, such as cold ironing in the passenger terminal, which has been carried out this year in order to reduce emissions from ships at berth.”

“Ports and the environment – commented the President of the Liguria Region Giovanni Toti – are two of the elements on which Liguria is focusing and will increasingly focus in the future. Today, in one of the ports that make up the most important port system in Italy, the ribbon of a cutting-edge ship is being cut – a vessel which is able of combining the highest environmental standards with the size necessary to compete in a sector as strategic as that of the blue economy and logistics. This is a strong signal that we welcome with great satisfaction. Besides the health of citizens and daily habits, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a very significant impact on the economy too. For this reason, as we continue our fight against the virus to return to life, we must prepare ourselves to face the challenges that are already looming for the immediate future: this is the best way to do it.”

In turn, in his speech Guido Grimaldi highlighted the attention shown both by the Neapolitan group and by the regional and local authorities towards issues related to the sustainable development of the city of Savona, of its port and, more generally, of the regional economy and of international trade: “Being here today in Savona, a city that has hosted us for at least 40 years, to christen the largest and most sustainable ro-ro ship in the world, is a source of great pride for us as well as an important milestone for maritime transport in the Mediterranean. It is the demonstration of the importance that our Group attaches to the port of a city that shares with us a vision of strategic relevance towards environmental issues,” he stated. “During a very difficult year like 2020, we continued to invest in sustainability, and such cutting-edge and environmentally friendly ships like the Eco Savona already allow us to reach the 2050 targets. Sustainability not only pays off economically and financially: it is a social duty of all of us”.

Once her commercial operations are concluded, the Eco Savona will leave the Ligurian port and, just as her sister vessels Eco Valencia, Eco Barcelona and Eco Livorno did in recent months, she will begin to operate regularly for the transport of rolling freight between Italy and Spain.