Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Located just a little over 100 km from the coast of Africa, it acts as a bridge to Europe for all non-European countries in the Mediterranean.
Subsequent to the creation of the free-trade area, which will include all countries in the Mediterranean (leading to a major increase in internal and external trade), Sicily is the obvious choice to become the biggest logistics terminal for a market with an estimated 700 million consumers.
Today, Sicily is busy working towards the creation of a network of intermodal logistics terminals, trade centres and other integrated trade terminals geared to meet international trade demands. In support of this investment, the Regione Siciliana and the Italian Government have already allocated large sums of money for the strengthening and upgrading of ports, airports, roads and railways.
Two Pan-European transport corridors belonging to the TEN-T network (Trans- European Transport Network) run through Sicily. The first is Railway axis 01 running from Berlin to Palermo and the second is Motorway of the sea of South-West Europe, corridor 21.
Sicily looks set to become one of the main contenders in the Mediterranean short sea shipping sector.
A number of co-operation agreements between public authorities and private businesses have already been established with Tunisia, Malta and Romania, with the aim of creating an international logistics network capable of intercepting trade along the Mediterranean-Black Sea axis, extending towards Africa on one side and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia on the other.
In Italy, the ratio between national road traffic and sea traffic is 10:1, whereas in Sicily the ratio is 1:1. In Italy in general,
Economic development and investment in the sector will also be furthered by the Regione Siciliana's official recognition of the Logistics Production District.