“We are proud to say that Grimaldi Group has been a Bronze Collaborator of The Malta Chamber since 2016. But this is not the only reason why The Malta Chamber looks at Grimaldi Group positively. As you may know, The Malta Chamber is actively involved policywise in the Maritime Industry, on Transportation and in Logistics. We also collaborate closely with other Associations like the Association of Ship Agents and the Association of Groupage Operators, as well as the Association of Tractor and Trailer Operators/Owners. We are going through unprecedented times. We are all aware of the main challenges being encountered by our businesses: ever-increasing costs; space availability; transit limitations; international haulage delays; driver shortages, amongst others, and constantly having to find alternative routes and options for the cargo,” said Dr Portelli.
“Grimaldi’s contribution to the Maltese business ecosystem particularly in facilitating imports and exports cannot go unnoticed - it is pertinent to note that Grimaldi’s long-standing presence in Malta has given the country a regular and efficient connection to an extensive, global network which today counts over 140 ports worldwide. And the link to Malta was particularly strengthened in 2005 through Malta Motorways of the Sea (MMOS) Ltd, a subsidiary shipping company within the Grimaldi Group which operates a regular service between Malta and mainland,” explained the CEO.
The Malta Chamber CEO emphasised that the Maritime Industry is an important pillar of our economy. Last year Malta’s ship registry made €24 million in income last year, accounting for 14% of the country's GDP, with 9,300 vessels registered in Malta (2.2% on the previous year). The tonnage on Maltese registered vessels, which is the total carrying capacity of all the vessels registered in Malta, went from 49 million tonnes in 2012 to 86.1 million tonnes at the end of 2021. All well and good. However, this industry has a lot more potential…potential which has not been tapped into yet.
On the topic of sustainability, Dr Portelli emphasised that “The Grimaldi Group is very much aligned to The Malta Chamber’s ethos. The Malta Chamber advocates in favour of ethical business and constantly insists on the importance of incorporating sustainability in our business models … not only because of legal imposition, but also as a commitment towards society … to a better world. Only last month we saw the christening of ECO Malta in our beautiful port. It is the 6th Green Generation class vessel that Grimaldi have invested in (the 6th out of 12). This vessel, apart from being the largest ro-ro unit in the world for short sea shipping (therefore meeting business requirements better in terms of frequency and availability), is also the most eco-friendly in terms of fuel consumption, both when out at sea and during port stays. She has a loading capacity which is twice that of the previous but consumes the same amount of fuel compared. This means, that at fully capacity CO2 emissions per unit transported are halved. During her port stays, the Eco Malta is zero emissions. She uses electricity stored in mega lithium batteries with a total power of 5 MWH which are kept recharged during navigation through shaft generators and solar panels. She also has an exhaust gas cleaning system for the reduction of sulphur and particulate emissions. The green transition requires great commitment and continuous investments. True sustainability requires business to effectively meet the needs of the market by minimizing the environmental impact. Companies that do it must be commended.”
In her concluding remarks, CEO Dr Portelli said “Malta is an insular island nation state at the periphery of the European continent, with permanent geographical disadvantages which hinder our competitiveness. We depend on maritime logistics to connect to the European mainland, unlike our competitors on mainland Europe who may also avail themselves of rail and road freight. The Freeport & Shipping lines serve a strategic function which at times may go beyond commercial interests in terms of serving Malta with their routes. As a country we depend on shipping lines like Grimaldi for our lifeline. And this is why we need to applaud their service. Some food for thought as my concluding sentence: Malta imports around 70% of its food products, so next time you’re sitting at a table enjoying lunch or dinner, or when at a reception, be grateful to companies like Grimaldi which are bringing food to our table!”