The De Rosa family founded Smet in Salerno in 1947 and has been running the group for three generations. Domenico De Rosa is now in charge. The group, which closed 2018 with an aggregate turnover of 315 million euros, was born as a road haulage operator, but has developed since then with all-round activities in the intermodal sector. It is a logistics operator and Fiata agent for international shipments and operates shipments and transports worldwide, both by sea and by air. Today it has a total vehicle fleet of more than 4,500 loading units and employs 2,000 people in 30 locations in Europe and the Mediterranean.
«Our speciality and vocation is multimodality in all its forms», explains Domenico De Rosa. To invest in land-sea intermodality, Smet did not wait for the appeal in favour of the Motorways of the Sea made in 2000, in Messina, by the then President of the Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. «We – states De Rosa – are committed to promoting sustainability since 1995, with a strong use of the Motorways of the Sea, in collaboration and partnership with the Grimaldi Group. With Grimaldi we have developed an ambitious and courageous project that has led us to be leaders in the use of the ro-ro sector, both in the Mediterranean and in the Baltic Sea. In addition to maritime intermodality, we have also developed rail intermodality». On the railway front, it is active in collaboration with the carrier Cfi.
Smet is a link in the logistics chain where Grimaldi and the car manufacturer Fca, formerly Fiat, work together. «Our principle is that intermodality should be preferred because of its lower costs and greater guarantee of environmental protection».
The environment is an objective that Smet has been investing in for years. Just this year it became the first company in the world to put on the road the new generation Iveco S-Way vehicles, which use liquefied natural gas (LNG). «From the very first tests carried out,” explains De Rosa, “the vehicles are presented as a highly advanced product, from which we expect significant results in terms of both performance and consumption».
But De Rosa’s projects do not stop there: «From 2023 we will become diesel free. This means that from then on we will no longer be buying diesel-powered vehicles. We will continue to invest in LNG, but we are also analysing the use of fuels other than liquefied natural gas». The project is still on paper, but comprehensive tests will be presented already in 2020.
The new Iveco vehicles are also 100 percent telematically connected. This is also an important aspect for Smet. «Connectivity allows the maximum use of our vehicles through an IT app that we adopted in 2019. We have drastically reduced the number of empty kilometres travelled and therefore CO2 emissions. We have verified that in the first six months of using the app we have reduced empty journeys by 15%. This makes operators responsible for better use of their assets».
Today the group has an international dimension, but the link with Salerno remains fundamental. «Campania – says De Rosa, who is also president of the intermodality commission of the Alis association – is the capital of intermodal logistics in Italy, with a product value higher than that of Lombardy. However we believe that the creation of the Authority of system of Naples and Salerno has not given overall benefits. It has rationalized some aspects, but much remains to be done on themes such as rear ports and dredging. Ports must be crossed to accommodate large merchant ships and dredging must be able to support the growth of ports. Too often, congestion is causing the quays to close due to overloading. We are increasingly moving towards naval gigantism, we have little time to adapt the infrastructures».
Source: L’Avvisatore Marittimo