Barletta, Giovanni Luca Borri, Dino Camarda, Domenico Circella, Giovanni
Year of Publication:
46th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Enlargement, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean", August 30th - September 3rd, 2006, Volos, Greece
International concerns about security in transport systems are leading to a new international regulation in this field. This introduces new requirements for operators and authorities as well as it opens new challenges, in particular when referred to seaports and maritime transport in the Mediterranean area, where many seaport terminals and infrastructures are affected by a noteworthy technological divide from North European contexts. In such contexts, the adoption of the new regulations can represent the right chance for upgrading the local operative standards, increasing latu sensu the quality of maritime transport performances, while conferring a greater level to security and safety checks. This paper explores the chances for increasing the level of Mediterranean seaport competitiveness allowed by technological innovations in transport systems, both in operations and organization of these infrastructures. The aim of the work is to study the effects of the adoption of technological solutions such as wireless communications and radiofrequency identification on the competitiveness of Mediterranean seaport infrastructures. Technological solutions designed to identify good items help operators in organizing activities in terminals and make maritime transport faster in delivering goods, by cutting the handling time and costs in seaport terminals. Seaports that adopt this kind of technologies, and the surrounding economic areas connected to seaports, have a greater attractiveness on shipping companies and operators, since they allow faster handling activities and easier checks on goods. Besides, the analysis of direct and indirect effects of the use of such technologies specifically focuses on the contribution that the use of these solutions gives in ensuring higher security levels, by increasing the level of information and knowledge associated to goods. The different types of security provided (e.g. for people, environment and goods) and the extreme flexibility of the technologies involved give the overall worth of the challenge. It seems to be a great chance of growth for the Mediterranean area, more than a mere compliance to the international security regulations.