Rivalta, ‘the city of goods’, officially inaugurated in 1966, was established with the aim of creating the Genoa dry port, to allow the merchandise to find a natural way out beyond the Apennines, with the crossing of the bottleneck formed by the mountains surrounding the Ligurian chief town and reducing, as a consequence, the traffic in that area. The company has experienced some developing steps that contributed to create what today the company has become, “the city of logistics”, with new ongoing projects such as RTE, UIRNET, UNO, TIGER, TIANJIN, FUORIMURO, FERNET .
Rivalta, like a lady in her fifties, tells about herself….
1951 The Dream - In 1951 at the village inn in Fittavolini, a small suburb in the Alessandria district, located between Bosco Marengo and Tortona, a countryman starts telling of a dream where the Madonna della Guardia announces him the building, in that same green countryside, of big warehouses, with moving vehicles, roads, hotels and restaurants; these new big facilities were going to give work to a lot of people in the community.
In 1963 Rivalta opens its building site. In honour of Holy Mary, the countryman built a little church and gave it a small statue as a gift, periodically taken to procession.
1960 The idea – During those years ships were waiting for the disembark in front of the port; the first containers had been introduced into the market and pallets were a great innovation; the loading and unloading of the supply ships was handled with manual means, the waiting time was very long and rates were expensive.
The idea of Dr. Giacomo Costa, the company’s founder, was that of clearing the docks quickly, unloading the goods and loading them directly on shuttle train wagons, ready to reach the inland in a very short time. In dry ports the space is much wider: clearing and handling procedures are faster and goods may be stored and protected in big warehouses, if necessary.
1963 The ‘first stone’ – On August 1st 1963, the three founders Dr. Giacomo Costa, Dr. Salvatore Juvara and Dr. Alfonso Menada established the company with the business name of ‘Rivalta Scrivia - Ente Sviluppo Traffici Internazionali Porti Nord Italia S.p.A.”, with share capital of Lire 1.500.000,00, and with registered office in Genoa. The company purpose is the following: “implementation, purchase and use of warehouses, stores, docks, storage bins and refrigerators for national and international goods”.
1966 The…. “number one” – At the end of 1966, the main building was set up. On November 11th the invoice nr. 1 had been issued: Rivalta, the city of goods, had started up and it was going to become a great landmark for the Scrivia valley, both for the business and for the occupational activities. The original internal structure was composed by the Customs, the Railway and the Guardia di Finanza, the future pillars in this modern organization. The company started hiring new workers and managers from the port sector. Many international delegations began visiting the establishment; the company had already been able to obtain the emission of bills of lading with return directly to Rivalta.
1967/1988 Twenty years after Rivalta has become an important reality offering its services to the most qualified shipping lines and shipment companies. The available wide spaces and the stores connected by an internal railway allow to manage operations with efficiency and in complete safety, appreciated by all the operators in the field. The handling of containers, often causing serious problems to the Ligurian ports, discovers a valid option in Rivalta. The registered office and the headquarters move to Rivalta and in 1986 the establishment is classified with DPR April 10th “Freight village of first degree”. Assointerporti, the first freight village association that collect all the freight villages, is founded. This great outcome arises the fear that the Ligurian terminal operators might loose their political and economic importance; for this reason the Ligurian ruling class doesn’t favour the company development.
The port authority and the freight forwarders fear the competition, believing that Rivalta might impoverish Genoa, forcing the city to move most of its business 60 km northward.
1989 The Apocalypse – On April 4th 1989 a huge fire destroyed completely the sections n. 12/14/15/16/17/18, where goods such as liquors, synthetic fibres, mineral oils, footwear, industrial machinery, roast coffee and cotton packaging were stored. The cotton was highly inflammable, therefore the fire started devouring all the other goods within 250 m radius, with terrible explosions and rumbles. Huge fire flames and smoke began covering the sky. Only after 8 days, in the morning of April 8th , the location was declared out of danger. A portion of 80.000 mq warehouses had been completely destroyed. It was a real disaster.
1990/1995 The hard time – After the fire, Rivalta was going to rebuild its stores, destroyed by the flames. In 1992, thanks to a law in support of logistics implementations and freight villages the company started building the first modern warehouses. The market became more and more demanding: further integrated services and computer control of the stores were implemented. The ‘Age of logistics’ was about to begin.
1995/2000 The challenge – The President Alessandro Fagioli asserts: “During those years the company achievements were not in harmony with the shareholders’ expectations and the sector which Rivalta was operating in was too different from that of the parent company ‘Finaval S.p.A.’ (a company dealing with shipping equipment). As a consequence, my partners asked me if I could take care of the subsidiary ‘Interporto’. I found the proposal exciting and I immediately made important changes: new managing directors, new managers, specific skills, hiring of a young staff, highly-motivated and problem-solving oriented people, investments in real estates, in technology, in quality and in people valorisation”. Thanks to Alessandro Fagioli, Rivalta becomes a company offering logistics services with level of efficiency and quality typical of the highest market standards, comparable to those of the most qualified competitors, even in the international context. Over the years Rivalta records a huge growth, even in its extension, addressing to companies looking for a reliable logistics operator, professionally adequate thanks to the well-equipped facilities and to the skilled personnel.
2001/2006 The great achievements – Today Rivalta is a well-settled company on the territory and also constantly present on the world market. It consists of an area of approximately sm 1.250.000, located in the junction point between North-South and East-West, well-connected to the existent port infrastructures and highway facilities. Its warehouses are equipped to store the most different kind of goods, following the basic steps of the integrated logics: receiving, stocking, customs procedures, manufacturing and retailing. The rail connections, integrated with the national railway, enter inside the warehouses and assure a total and safe intermodality. The large available spaces guarantee flexibility and the modern information technology allows the direct monitoring of each step.
A glance at the future - …. It’s time for Rivalta to start a new life cycle: new growth projects are matter of debate in order to face the latest requirements arising from the market globalization and from the manufacturing and distribution procedures internationalisation.
In 2006 the company Rivalta Terminal Europa SpA is established, as a spin-off, located on a sm 900.000 area, endowed with all the administrative and organizational facilities; it develops terminal activities fulfilling Rivalta’s original dream: becoming definitely the Genoa dry port. RTE, together with its affiliates Fuorimuro and Fernet, takes part actively in rail transport activities and in port operations. Rivalta, through the UIR (Unione Interporti Riuniti) Association, is involved in the Uirnet project, whose aim is that of creating a virtual platform to control goods and the connection between the most important load and unload match points, ready to respond to the operators’ needs. In the international framework, Rivalta is partner in the INLOG project for the creation of logistics platform supporting trading activities and services with economic operators in China, in the Tianjin province, North of Shangai, where many Italian companies keep economic interests. Eventually, Rivalta takes care of services for its employees, like a kindergarten, to improve workers life conditions and to promote women’s employment.