The movement of the goods towards the national and international railway network satisfies efficaciously the growing needs of eco-sustainability and is, furthermore, a way to relaunch the competitiveness of products and companies taking into account the intermodality-inspired transport.  

This are the fundamental values of Lotras company’s mission – founded in 1998 by Mr Armando de Girolamo and sons Mr Nazario and Domenico-, today it is a successful entrepreneurial company both in Italy and Europe for the multimodal transport of goods, with absolute leadership for the transport of liquid food.

In the last years, furthermore, Lotras faced the sudden necessities of the industrial and manufacturing system. These needs have been strengthened by the pandemic emergency begun in 2020, and the system was demanded by the new economic background to optimize furtherly the costs of production, among which those related to freight transport. 

This is the reason why Lotras keeps investing by developing, for the different industries, the most suitable solutions, that-is-to-say investments and specific organisational models, therefore, which find their proof in Lotras railway Terminals of Foggia and Forlì and in the logistic platform of Faenza. These facilities are daily connected to a network of international train paths in order to ensure efficient, prompt answers and connect the productive and commercial industries of the Southern Italy with those of Adriatic and Tyrrhenian sides, and from these areas to the middle-north Europe.

A movement of the goods carried out in high safety level and respecting national and EU laws of the different Countries, served through various cross-border passageway on which Company’s wagon fleet runs in continuous evolution – currently the fleet is made up of 400 wagons, among tank wagons and multi-purpose for container transport – for transport solutions, also combined, always marked by quality and punctuality of the service, with more contained costs and less environmental impact; solutions which made Lotras model an international case study. 

A commitment founded also on a consolidated partnership with Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato, let’s ask to the sole Administrator Mr Armando de Girolamo.

Armando de Girolamo: In 2015 Lotras signed, first Italian Company, a framework agreement with RFI (Italian railway infrastructure manager) for the consolidation and development of freight railway transport. The partnership Lotras-RFI-Trenitalia Cargo represents the implementation of freight railway industry which is efficient and sustainable and able to contribute concretely to the development of the Country. However, it needs of policies aimed at valorising furtherly the experiences and the know-how of a competitive multimodality which is, at the same time, respectful of the territory, since, ultimately, the increasing of the capacity of the network and of the potentialities of the railway terminals remain the primary and inalienable objective.

All this with a constant, concrete, proactive attention to the themes of environmental and security sustainability.

Armando de Girolamo: During 2020 the movement of Lotras trains throughout the international and national railway networks, in collaboration with Mercitalia Rail (Gruppo ferrovie dello Stato), led to a remotion of about 45,000 trucks from the roads and motorways, saving over 38,000 tonnes CO2-related emissions in the atmosphere. During a year of epochal difficulty for the economy we have continued and strengthened our contribution to the pursuance of the objective enshrined in the EU White Paper in theme of reduction of the environmental impact of the transport, according to which by 2030, 30% of on-the-road freight traffics covering more the 300 km, must be switched to other modalities, among which the railway transport, with an objective of 50% by 2050. However, that is an action in line with the objectives of the Italian Plan of Recovery and Resilience, launched in the last days by the Government, to which we want to contribute by involving the Southern Italy and the whole Country, balancing the social and economic impact of the pandemic crisis and supporting the green, digital transition in order to increase the growth-related potentiality.

The infrastructural system of the territory is also crucial with particular reference to the Terminal of Foggia-Incoronata. What are the strong and weak points?  

Armando de Girolamo: Foggia area, second plain in Italy, finds itself in the North-east of Southern Italy, with a leadership positions in the production of the different agricultural industries. Throughout its territory there are also important industrial groups for food, engineering, aerospace sectors enhanced by the presence of numerous small and medium enterprises working these sectors.

The success of the excellences in the different manufacturing sectors mentioned above, is enhanced by the fact that Foggia area is already an only and efficient logistic platform supporting the internal and international market. This is linked to three factors: its peculiar geographical position in the North of Apulia, overlooking the Balkan area and in barycentric position compared to Adriatic area and Apennine side, this last conjuncts with Tyrrhenian side; an index of infrastructural equipment for the road and railway networks significantly higher than the averages of Apulia, Southern Italy and also Italy in general; the synergic presence of other important infrastructure for the movement of goods, by which our Terminal of Foggia Incoronata interacts, such as the motorway toll booth dedicated to the industrial area of Foggia and Porto Alti Fondali of Manfredonia for which the industrial areas of Foggia Province are, in fact, the retroportual areas of connection and link.

However, we must strengthen the infrastructural equipment generally, by implementing rapidly the projects which have been executive since time, whose creation will make the entire regional logistic system more competitive, from Salento to the Foggia area.

For Lotras it is also important the relation with the training and research sector. What are your initiatives for this purpose?

Armando de Girolamo: Lotras has always had close relations with Schools and Universities and, recently, also with Higher Technical Institutes, both in Apulia and Emilia Romagna.

Our availability for the traineeships before degree and training path after diploma and degree witnesses the constant presence of young trainees in our different operative unities.

It is very recent, in fact, the Lotras’ participation to the project and institution of a high-level training on “Strategie di Industria 4.0” (Strategies of Industry 4.0) promoted by the Grant Office of Foggia University concerning the International Master in “Technological core Competencies and Digital Transformation”. About this training path, aimed at boosting the innovative skills of the entrepreneurial system, we have shared the goals and objectives, but our commitment will be also on the concrete and operative plan: from contributing to the promotion of activities of the project and spread of the results, to the participation to the training events with our company’s representatives; from the support to the partnership-related network aimed at raising territory’s awareness and answering to widespread need of consolidation, update and development of the skills of workers. We remind you, furthermore, the protocol agreement with the Cluster of Intermodalità E.R.I.C. (Emilia Romagna Intermodal Cluster) aimed at promoting the Platform in a national and international background and participating to the training and development of sectoral skills, promotion of initiatives for raising awareness among for the regional industrial system on energetic technology innovation and environmental sustainability, safety for railway circulation, research and evolution of global competitive scenarios that affect the freight transport and logistics.

So, a full commitment in the contribution to the economic and social development of the territories, in compliance with the rules, transparency and legality, important and essential for the ethical profile of the Company. This polyhedric action based on the team game and synergy among companies led Lotras and its Sole Administrator Mr Armando de Girolamo, to the conferment of numerous institutional, entrepreneurial and cultural awards, such as: in 2001 and 2014 the Medal of Delegation of the President of Italian Republic; in 2014 and 2016 the Industria Felix Award, sponsored by the University of Bari, Foggia and Salento and by the Polytechnic University of Bari and Confindustria Puglia; in 2015 the award of the experts of the sector as Intermodal Operator of the year; in 2016 the Italian Terminal and Logistic Award (Itala), the award established to highlight the ability of Italian operators for port, intermodal and logistic terminalisation both in Italy and abroad and acknowledges the managerial quality and the strategic importance for the national economy; in 2020 the Logistic Award of the Year for the service promoted and organised by Assologistica.



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