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entry Nov 2008                    

he Freight Village in Nola

I was not familiar with the term “freight village.” According to information from the European Intermodal Association, it is

a defined area within which all activities relating to transport, logistics and the distribution of goods, both for national and international transit, are carried out by various operators…these operators can either be owners or tenants of buildings and facilities (warehouses, break-bulk centres, storage areas, offices, car parks, etc.)…[and the area]…must preferably be served by a multiplicity of transport modes (road, rail, deep sea, inland waterway, air).

The general Italian term for “freight village” is interporto; the abbreviation CIS (for Consorzio Intercomunale Servizi) is also used. Both are used to refer to the gigantic freight village in Nola, near Naples. It is one of the largest such facilities among the dozens in Europe. It is essentially a small city of warehouses and wholesalers, a central point for the collection and repackaging of freight that has arrived by land, air or sea. Nola is close to both the Naples airport, the main train station, the port of Naples and is on the main north-south Italian highway system.

The CIS Nola opened in 1986. The term “village” lends an unwarranted pre-industrial quaintness to the place, as if there were peasants scurrying about taking care of steam engines and spinning looms. In reality, the "village" covers about one million square meters, half of which is given over to covered areas of warehouses, shops and facilities such as restaurants, banks, an ER, a sports field, a post office, a filling station and a police station for the 4,000 employees, who work in the 325 wholesale shops distributed on eight “islands” in the complex. The entire complex includes the large Vulcano Buono retail shopping center (just out of the bottom of the picture in the above image).

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