the key players

Port System Authorities

The Port System Authority (PSA) is a non-economic public entity, established in Italy according to Legislative Decree N°. 169/2016, through the merging of the ex-Port Authorities (PAs) established by Law No. 84/1994. The PSA has important tasks of direction, planning, coordination, promotion and control of port operations and other commercial and industrial activities carried out in ports. It has regulatory and ordinance powers and is also responsible for the ordinary and extraordinary maintenance of the common parts of the port, including the maintenance of the seabed. The Port System Authority draws up the Port System Regulatory Plan (PSRP) and the Three-Year Operational Plan, which represent the main documents for the planning and expanding operational areas, the choice of their destination of use and the development of commercial traffic. It has legal entity under public law and is endowed with financial and budgetary autonomy within the limits provided by the law itself.

[ + ] Expand

Terminal Operators

Terminal Operators are private companies operating in maritime port areas (often managed under concession). With reference to goods, having adequate handling means (quay and yard cranes, buckets, pumps, conveyor belts, etc.), operating and administrative personnel and its own organization, it offers its customers all necessary services to carry out the transfer of goods from the ship to land transport services (road, rail, fluvial transport, pipeline, etc.) and vice versa, ensuring their temporary storage on the yard ("storage" function) too. Therefore the terminal operator carries out loading and unloading operations on board ships and related intermodal sorting services (so-called "operating cycles") in a specialized and standardized manner, depending on the type and condition of the cargo, the size of the lots and the characteristics of the ships, the loading and unloading of goods from the ship on the quayside and the related intermodal sorting services (so-called “operating cycles”). As concerns passengers, on the other hand, a terminal must be able to handle departing or arriving passenger traffic and provide ancillary services to them (baggage handling, refreshment areas, info points, etc.). Depending on the type of passengers embarking or disembarking, we can distinguish between passenger ferry terminal and cruise terminal.

[ + ] Expand


It is one of the bodies of the Italian Navy, it performs tasks and functions connected mainly with the use of the sea for civil purposes and with functional dependence on various ministries that make use of their work. The activities carried out are numerous and concern, for example: navigation safety, port state control, search and rescue at sea, protection of the marine environment. In ports where Port Authorities are not established, the Harbormaster is the exclusive holder of the functions of active administration and supervision of the activities taking place in the ports. In the major ports, where the Port Authorities are also established, the Harbormasters preserve the competences not attributed to the first ones, including the functions of police and safety functions, as well as the discipline and the organization of the technical-nautical services of piloting, towing, mooring and buoyancy, carried out in agreement with the Port Authority.

[ + ] Expand

Shipping Companies

The Shipping Company is the key player in the management of port logistics activities, it is a complex business actor that can include the performance of various sub-activities. First, the company operates as a shipowner. The shipowner is the one who takes over the operation of the vessel and provides for the technical and operational conditions necessary for the operation of the navigation. Its main tasks include, for example, to ensure compliance with the rules on safety and homologation of the hull, propulsion machinery, technical and logistical facilities, as well as in relation to the appointment of the master and the recruitment of crew.The owner is instead the one who owns all or part of the shares (i.e. the carat) of the ship. The shipowner is often the owner of his ships but, when he is not the owner of the ships, he rents and manages them with a time charter agreement (i.e. time charter) or journey (i.e. voyage charter). The term carrier refers to the person who performs the service of transporting goods by sea assuming a written contractual obligation to the shipper (so-called "bill of lading") for the delivery of the cargo at destination, receiving in exchange a fee (so-called "freight").

[ + ] Expand

The Customs Agency

The Customs Agency, operational since 2001, is one of the four tax agencies in our country, and it is a public institution politically dependent on the Department of Finance. It is responsible for the management of the entire Italian customs system and it is responsible for controlling the traffic of goods, not only for tax purposes, but also to protect industry and the national consumer. In ports, in relation to trade flows, it is responsible for collecting VAT and duties and for monitoring the status and type of goods (anti-fraud functions, etc.).

[ + ] Expand