The FS Italiane Group has developed an ambitious programme to relaunch the freight business in its new 2019-2023 Business Plan. With the creation of the Polo Mercitalia, FS Italiane has grouped all the companies operating in the field of logistics and freight transport into a single organisational unit that, working in a coordinated and synergistic way to compete in the European market, offers customers integrated freight and logistics solutions that enhance the railway mode.
For FS Italiane’s freight sector, the Business Plan foresees a significant increase in revenue, thanks to an improvement in the quality of the service offered to customers and the productivity of factors employed, which will lead to Mercitalia evolving its turnover from 1 billion euro in 2018 to over 1.5 billion euro in 2023.
With one of the most important fleets of locomotives and freight wagons, Mercitalia operates in the main European countries. Internationalisation is another of Mercitalia’s priorities—in the coming years, a rising share of revenue will be generated by activities carried out in Europe.
Finally, product and process innovation will play an extremely important role in the development that Mercitalia will undergo in the coming years, with Mercitalia Fast, launched last November as the first service in the world of high-speed rail transport dedicated to freight.
The most ambitious and priority objective for Mercitalia, which intercepts the new demand for e-commerce, is the accomplishment of economic sustainability. For this reason, the next Business Plan foresees two fundamental “milestones”: the achievement of operational sustainability within 2019 and overall sustainability in 2020.
In order to realise these objectives, a strong investment plan totalling around 1 billion euro has been earmarked for the next five years, set to bring improvements in both quantitative terms (the staff of Mercitalia will increase by more than 2,100 people over the five-year period) and qualitatively (a 66% turnover of staff that, with 3,400 incoming and 1,300 outgoing in the five-year period, will permit Mercitalia to rebalance the types of personnel employed without having employment impacts).
In the coming years, Mercitalia will be tasked with achieving the set objectives by making the freight business a generator of value and competitiveness for the FS Italiane Group, whilst also meaningfully contributing to the balanced economic development of the country, through a constructive dialogue with the Ministry of Transport and with the organisations of operators in logistics and freight transport, leading to a pointed exploitation of the economic and environmental features that distinguish the different modes of transport.
Mercitalia will thus have to make an important contribution in order to ensure that the freight transport system can contribute to favouring Italy’s economic development and the competitiveness of Italian companies, limiting the impact of externalities deriving from freight transport activities.