Within the southern Italian Port of Taranto which is located in the central Mediterranean, 170 nautical miles from the main Suez-Gibraltar shipping route, container handling is carried out at the Taranto Container Terminal (TCT). Despite only opening in June 2001 following the award of a 60-year concession to Evergreen to develop and run the terminal, TCT has made significant progress and in year 2003 (only its second full year of operaion), it witnessed a dramatic 39% increase in container volumes to reach over 650,000teu, thus qualifying the port as one Cargo Systems' Top 100 Container Ports for the first time. Now seriously considered to be a threat to Gioia Tauro and Cagliari, the majority of containers handled (almost 93%) by TCT are transhipment boxes for the Evergreen/Lloyd Triestino group, and a throughput of 750,000teu is confidently being predicted for 2004. Although the Evergreen Group, the main customer of TCT, other lines have now started using the terminal including CMA CGM, Hapag Lloyd and Norasia. In the past three years, investments amounting to some 260m (US$ 400m) have been made in the 93ha terminal, and now that the Phase one and Phase two developments have been completed, TCT now comprises a 1,500 metre linear quay on which the berths are equipped with 10 gantry cranes (eight super-post-panamax and two ultra-post-panamax), one 100-tonne capacity mobile harbour crane and 22 RTGs. With 15 metres' depth alongside, the berths can accommodate the largest container vessels afloat and TCT now has a throughput capacity of 2m teu annually. With 14 metres depth alongside - the decision has been made to deepen this to 16 metres in the near future - the berths can accommodate the largest container vessels afloat and TCT now has a throughput capacity of 1.2m teu annually. TCT is linked directly to the Italian rail network and block trains are currently operated to and from industrial areas in northern and Central Italy. The terminal is also served by a comprehensive feeder network which connects Taranto to other Italian ports and some 40 ports in the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Black Seas. In order to be prepared to respond to the requirements of increased Mediterranean traffic in which TCT expects to be handling a throughput of 2m teu by 2009, a final phase three development programme is being considered. To be dependent upon the requirements of the market and the completion of civil works by the port authority, phase three envisages another 300 metres of quay, thus allowing five latest generation of container vessels to be handled simultaneously. The new berth is likely to be equipped with six more gantry cranes around 10 more RTGs by 2009.
Top 100 Container Ports