ITALY: Italian Railways has set up a joint venture with the Italian post office aimed at securing a share of the market for transporting high-value goods and packages. Italia Logistica was launched on February 28 when FS and Gruppo Poste Italiane announced that they were merging the activities of their respective subsidiaries Omnia Logistica and SDA Logistica following the signing of a letter of intent last year.

Italia Logistica will use the strengths of the two parent organisations to offer door-to-door services using pick-up and collection by road and long-haul transport by rail. The company plans to use the latest IT to manage and track consignments and to develop a range of new services.

Chief Executive Mauro Moretti said FS had added a new activity to its range of products and that the business would operate in a 'very competitive market'. The move followed rationalisation and relaunch of the freight business which included plans to work more closely with Italian ports. Italia Logistica will focus on integrated services for high-value distribution including urban logistics, 'reverse logistics' when customers return products to suppliers, and the catering sector.