The Trans-European Network: the EU solution

8 March 2022by Gragnani s.r.l.

The Trans-European Network: the EU solution to support the European internal market


…a set of infrastructures aiming to connect all EU countries in the coming years: the Port of Livorno is at the heart of the project.

[Reading time: 3 minutes 30 seconds]


The Trans-European transport networks (TEN-T) are a set of infrastructures designed to create a single European transport area based on a single, comprehensive, integrated and multimodal trans-European network between land, sea and air transport, which includes and connects all EU member states in an intermodal and interoperable manner.


The TEN network promotes the integration of European countries, contributes to the growth of the European internal market and to employment, while pursuing environmental and sustainable development goals.


mappa trasporti europei


The European policy for trans-European transport networks was created in 1993 based on Title XVI, Articles 170 to 172, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In 2009, a substantial revision was initiated, leading to a new legislative framework that came into force in 2014.


The European Union’s new orientation for the development of the trans-European transport network envisages the creation of a TEN-T network with two levels:


– the Comprehensive Network, to be completed by 2050, which aims to ensure full connectivity for all regions of the EU;

– the Core Network, an EU-wide core network (to be in place by 2030) that consists of those parts of the comprehensive network that are of the highest strategic importance for the EU. The Core Network corridors must include at least three different modes of transport, cross at least three Member States and provide access to seaports.


The Core Network is divided into nine main corridors: 2 north-south corridors, 3 east-west corridors and 4 diagonal corridors.



Italy is in a strategic position as it is covered by four corridors (Baltic-Adriatic; Scandinavian-Mediterranean; Rhine-Alps; Mediterranean) which include 9 urban nodes, 11 airports, 14 seaports, 5 river ports and 15 dry ports.


The motorways of the sea represent the maritime dimension of the trans-European transport networks and contribute to the creation of a European maritime transport space without barriers.


As outlined in the detailed implementation plan submitted by the European coordinator of the Motorways of the Sea, there are 79 seaports (core ports) located in the Core Network corridors, representing two thirds of the total European port traffic (about 2.5 billion tonnes).


The new EU Regulation 1315/2013 on TEN-T networks identifies the following core ports for Italy: Ancona, Augusta, Bari, Cagliari, Civitavecchia, Genoa, Goia Tauro, La Spezia, Livorno, Naples, Palermo, Ravenna, Taranto, Trieste and Venice.


Did you know that….


The Port of Livorno has been included in the restricted list of strategic and priority ports by the European Commission (core port) since the establishment of the Core Network (2013). This is due to its traffic volumes and its strategic position in the Mediterranean Sea.


porto di livorno strategico e prioritario


The Port of Livorno is a multipurpose port, i.e. it is equipped with infrastructures and means enabling it to receive any type of ship and to handle any category of goods and any type of traffic (LO-LO, RO-RO, liquid and dry bulk, new vehicles, cruises, ferries, forest products, machinery, etc.).


As reported by Assoporti (data for 2019) if we look at the total movement in tonnes, the Port of Livorno is in third place among Italian ports with almost 37 million tonnes of goods, of which almost half are Ro-Ro traffic.


In 2021 the port handled 34.3 million tonnes of goods, marking an increase of 8.1% over 2020, substantially realigning with the pre-pandemic values of 2019.


percentuali tipologia traffici commerciali

In 2021, 791.000 twenty-foot containers (TEUs) were handled, an increase of 10.5% over 2020 and +0.2% over 2019. Among the full containers, exports grew (+18.5%) while landings were slightly down (-1.2%). Rolling cargo traffic also performed well, with movements of almost 510 thousand vehicles, just 8,800 thousand units less than in 2019 (-1.7%).


On forest products, another core business of the port, there is a +7.5% on 2020 and +8.7% on 2019. 1.78 million tonnes of cellulose were handled in break bulk. For new cars, the port handled 467,000 vehicles between January and December. Traffic levels for 2020 were well exceeded, compared to which the port recorded an 8.6% increase. (data source: ANSA)

Port of Livorno – Main traffic indicators (2021/2020)


port livorno main traffic indicator
Giorgio Gragnani S.r.l. has been active for over 60 years in the maritime industry as a shipping agent, freight forwarder, logistics provider and customs officer.

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