«It is an extraordinarily important event, because it comes at a time of true and full-fledged restart, both economically and also and above all socially». This is the concise judgement that Domenico De Rosa, managing director of SMET – one of the European leaders in the freight transport and logistics sector, with 20 offices in Italy and 14 in Europe – gives of LetExpo, the ‘three-day’ exhibition and congress in Verona that will take place from 16 to 19 March. «LetExpo will be a fundamental moment of confrontation, reflection, and debate. For us at ALIS, who with President Guido Grimaldi have strongly supported it, it is indeed a moment of restart in which we place enormous expectations both in terms of business evolution and to consider, together, the needs of the post-pandemic world».
A logistics-related restart?
«Without a doubt. In these two years the world has not stopped but has worked underground. That is why we expect and have the intimate conviction that the ALIS LetExpo will be a topical moment, and not only for the transport and logistics sector but for the entire Italian business community. Precisely because logistics and the supply chain are those transmission belts that allow our entire manufacturing industry to move. This is why I hope and expect that the industrial sectors will be numerous and diversified. Only then can we see how needs, organisations, people have changed. Underground work has happened because the world never stops. And at LetExpo it will emerge strongly and assertively».
Can LetExpo also be seen as a reaffirmation of the value of an associationism reformulated on a new and broader basis?
«I personally believe that this LetExpo is an event of extraordinary power, both economically and socially, also because it represents a new phase of maturity for associationism. From this fair onwards we can say that ALIS is consecrating itself as a third economic pole to which, especially at a time of widespread leadership shortage, it is natural to look to and be inspired by for the future, in order to make possible everything that the ecological transition and economic transformation set out by the PNRR outline for the future».
A future, however, made more challenging, if not bleak, by the ongoing energy crisis…
«In the not too distant past, last year, when there was talk of Italy growing as the new locomotive of Europe, I was the first to say in an interview that we would be plunged into severe stagflation. Today, Minister Cingolani warns us: beware, the energy crisis risks eating away at our entire PNRR contribution. Being right when making negative forecasts is not good. All the more essential, however, is that LetExpo should become a necessary stage from which to launch alarm signals for the invoked and so far unfulfilled measures of the Marebonus and Ferrobonus, which do not yet seem to have achieved the dignity that an Italian best practice in the world would deserve. In fact, there is talk of new regulations for the next few years with allocations that are absolutely insufficient to support the only true sustainable mode of transport in our country. On the other hand, intermodality is the only safeguard against the energy crisis that has now manifested itself in all its severity and which does not suggest that it will ease any time soon. And the winds of war, with the thrust of the energy transition concentrated in such a short space of time, can only keep the tension in the markets high».