Severe Weather Disruptions Cargo Transportation Throughout Italy

Severe Weather Disruptions Cargo Transportation Throughout Italy

Background

On March 2, local sources indicated that weather conditions are still causing disruption to transportation in central and northern parts of Italy. Bad weather conditions, including snow and ice, affected southern and central Italy at the beginning of the week before moving to central and northern parts of the country.

Traffic bans for trucks over 7.5 tons have been in effect since February 28, bringing road freight movements on major highways including A1, A4, A13, A14, A21 and A22 to a standstill. Many secondary roads, particularly in Emilia-Romagna and northern Tuscany, are also impassible due to heavy snow and ice formation. Local sources indicate that no truck movements are currently possible between the north and the south of the country.

Even if the pick-up and the delivery of shipments are possible in some affected areas, trucks cannot reach transportation gateways, in particular ports, due to the driving ban. The Port of Genoa and the Port of La Spezia, both major intermodal ports with hinterland connections to Milan and Switzerland, have been closed since March 1, causing containers to pile up at the terminals. No rail service from and to the ports is currently taking place. Similarly, the Port of Livorno could not be accessed by trucks on March 1 despite container terminals operating normally.

At Rome Fiumicino Airport, over 120 flights were cancelled at the beginning of the week and more than 300 were delayed. As a result, some air cargo has been re-routed via alternative airports and road connections to end destinations. Due to the ongoing driving ban, shipments are, nonetheless, likely to be severely delayed. Normal flight operations have since resumed, but cancellations and delays can also be expected through the weekend as air carriers start to receive shipments by truck which have been held back at warehouses or truck terminals over the last three days.

Weather forecasts predict that it will continue to snow on Friday, March 2 across north-west Italy, where temperatures will remain low. Despite improved weather conditions on the weekend, heavy backlogs are to be expected until next week as air, rail and ocean carriers clear backlog of cargo that have built up throughout this week.

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