Il Trovatore project
"IL TROVATORE" project was started in 2008 in order to relaunch the national port and airport system. The aim was to define a procedural, logistics, organizational and technological model which could be implemented in analogous situations in the EU, with simple enhancement of the parameters identified as the model’s levers.
The orographical and structural difficulties of almost all the national ports place natural constraints on the extension of the areas available for container handling: in order to attract new commercial traffic flows, ports must potentiate and extend their available surface areas, by using areas outside the port perimeter – with the so-called retro ports which in many cases are situated tens of kilometers away.
The problem therefore is to link the two areas in such a way as to simplify bureaucratic operations guaranteeing, at the same time, adequate performance levels of the service provided to external users and of the integrated control of goods flows in ports and airports, including those one performed for the purpose of fight against counterfeiting, consumer protection and fight to commercial fraud in general.
Back in 2006, the Italian Customs Agency in collaboration with the CNIPA and University (Politecnico di Milano and Università Sapienza di Roma), conducted a feasibility study that showed how the use of RFID technology can yield important benefits in the verification of container integrity,in the identification and electronical tracing of containers within port areas and during port to retro port journeys and in facilitation in information exchange with terminal managers.
Following the study findings, further analysis were conducted on the subject , in collaboration with the Joint Research Centre European - the European Commission Research Laboratory. These studies allowed further elements on the subject to be acquired, thanks to the experience gained by the institute in the pilot project which the European Commission promoted for the tracing and integrity of containers from or to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad in Lithuania.
Due to the complexity of the project, an initial experimental phase was checked out and the port of Leghorn and Prato interport were identified as optimal places for this phase. Leghorn appeared to be the ideal place to carry out the experimentation, due to its type of port traffic and its position in the "central Tyrrhenian-Adriatic" logistics platform, as well as the opportunity it presented to extend the experimental model from within port areas to port to retro port journeys (specifically using the Prato node).
Integration with the CARGO Project - another initiative promoted by the Customs Agency - was fundamentally important for the project’s success in order to allow operators to have a telematic presentation of the incoming and outgoing goods manifests. In Cargo project, the Agency has integrated itself in the production chain, putting itself forward as an information catalyst for service managers, with the multiplicity of bodies/authorities involved in the port and airport cycle with the aim of overcoming the fragmentation of the current processes. In short, the project has the aim of rationalizing the handling of container goods in port-retro port journeys. Its main output is the defining of a procedural, logistics, organizational and technological model which can be implemented to relaunch the national port and airport system.