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Bustling port generates jobs in Calabria

Gioia Tauro, Calabria, Italy

With growing numbers of ships passing through the Mediterranean, Gioia Tauro port at the southern tip of Italy found itself in need of major structural developments. Over a 12-year period (1994–2006), targeted investments using EU funds soon produced the desired outcome, namely secure employment and a highly efficient port system.

One of many cargo ships now using the upgraded Gioia Tauro port One of many cargo ships now using the upgraded Gioia Tauro port

"The port project, thanks to the sea bed deepening carried out, has enabled MedCenter Container Terminal to allow ships with a bigger draught into the port and to set up new cranes purchased in China on the revamped quays. MCT can therefore increase its transoceanic freight traffic."
Franco N. Cupolo, MedCenter Container Terminal

For the inhabitants of Calabria, the importance and potential of Gioia Tauro port cannot be underestimated, notably in terms of employment and economic opportunities. It is the busiest and largest container terminal in Italy and the Mediterranean, and the seventh biggest container port in Europe. In 2007 alone, some 3 000 vessels passed through the port.

Channelling efforts towards secure employment

To cope with challenges such as logistics, staff and container movements, a major redevelopment project was implemented. It resulted in 1 500 jobs being created – 750 direct, 450 indirect, the remaining 300 in port operations and public services. The project's success is also reflected in its container activities (measured in TEUs or twenty-foot equivalents). By September 1997, it was already handling 1 000 000 TEUs (original target date was 2001) and had links to more than 35 Mediterranean ports.

Digging deep to build solid foundations

Under the National Operational Programme for Transport (2000–06), the Port Authority promoted works to improve the port’s infrastructure and strengthen its commercial transhipment features and leadership throughout the Mediterranean basin. The work included deepwater docks for large ships, a widened channel, platforms for container and car transhipments, and a multimodal logistical infrastructure. The Programme included defining a strategic framework to maximize the impact of the transformations and increase the commercial and economic activities in a region characterised in the recent past by poor socio-economic indicators.

Eyes on future horizons

There are real prospects for new business with ports worldwide as well as potential stemming from other European projects such as motorways of the sea and plans to build a Berlin-Palermo rail link. By promoting logistics and intermodalities, the current ‘Networks and Mobility’ Programme 2007-13 will boost the port’s competitive position, enabling it to play a leading role in promoting interconnections among neighbouring European countries.


Technical information


ERDF for the period 2007–2013

EU Investment

EUR 76 100 000


Porto di Gioia Tauro
via G. Rossini 161
I-87030, Rende (CS)
Giovanni, D'Orio


Draft date



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