Logimar Srl – Italy 

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Interview with

Mr. Marcello Saponaro
CEO of Logimar Srl in Italy & Founder of some Freight Forwarder Networks

Marcello Saponaro Portrait

First of all Marcello, please tell our readers about your personal background in shipping & logistics.  When did you start your career and why are you not in banking or a state-owned Italian conglomerate for example?

Because my background is the background of my family. My father is still moderately active in our group of companies. He started Tecnofreight, Logimar… and 10 years ago with me, the first Network: Africa Logistics Network.

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Your company Logimar, what can you tell our readers about it? 

It is part of a group of SMEs owned by my family with some other partners. There are different partners in every company. The group numbers a hundred employees. They are the real value of our group because they have the ability to evolve together (with each other) and together with the companies over the years. More than 10 years ago, Logimar started to focus on project cargo and more recently, on industrial relocation. This was undoubtedly our strength together with the team of Logimar.

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You mentioned your activity in the field of freight forwarding networks, particularly networks with a focus on Africa. What made you decide to establish these networks and what more can you tell our readers about it?

Yes, you are right. With my father, I founded Africa Logistics Network (ALN) in 2015 and later Airfreight Logistics Network for Africa (ALNA). We are having the joint meeting of ALN and ALNA next October in Nairobi. Only two years ago, it was the time with some partners to establish Exclusive Project Network (EPN).  Always, the reason for creating a network was the opportunities for the logistics business we could have.

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Every so often, emails promoting networks are received by most of us in worldwide shipping. It is like an avalanche of emails promising the moon. What makes your networks stand out and be different from these other so-called “networks”?

It’s the quality of the networks that make some of them different. To make some more money, we could open the door to any kind of so-called Freight Forwarders with no limits on members per country. You know what it could have meant in Africa and not only in Africa. We decided to select strictly the new members, writing to their agents out of their countries to require references and restricting the number of members (only one per country in EPN).

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Do you find that it is difficult to find members nowadays? 

Yes, to find the good ones who are professionals and bring business into the network. This is difficult. The reputations of our ALN, ALNA and EPN members must be very strong and good.

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How many members have you currently got in your networks?

We have 220 members in the Africa Logistics Network and 84 of them are in Africa. There are 102 members in the Exclusive Project Network, so that means 102 Countries are covered. There are more than 85 members in ALNA, but this is the youngest network. I’m sure the membership of ALNA will take off with the Nairobi meeting as we are expecting 150 people to attend the event during October 8-11, 2023.

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What do you think that the future of networks will be if you look into your crystal ball?  I ask this because it seems evident that some shipowners really wish to eradicate freight forwarders altogether.

Our industry is challenging and changing, changing very quickly. Shipping and forwarding always had this attitude, especially since the last decades of the 20th century. Everybody is expecting – as it’s already in progress – a general simplification of the framework. The giants of the market will get bigger, and yes, shipowners aspire to more and more intrusions into the Freight Forwarders field. To eradicate them? I don’t think it’s possible, but this is the reason Freight Forwarders need to continue to occupy and always extend their presence in the niche markets where professionalism and flexibility are still required. A big carrier will never offer the best solution to one shipper. Only if they have a good customer care department can they probably offer the best solution they have. No more. They can’t offer the service of their competitor carriers. Shippers need a Freight Forwarder to do that.

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Where are your offices located? Please, tell our readers how best to reach you?

All our offices and warehouses are in the Bergamo area, the most industrialized area of Italy.

Everybody can reach me via the following phone and emails:

Phone: +39 035951468