150 years of experience
The Gastaldi brand has deep-set roots originating in 1860 when the Genoese entrepreneur Gian Battista Gastaldi began operating as a Shipping Agent and Broker in the naval sector.
The brand experienced its first turning point in 1904 when Alessandro Cerruti acquired the Company and took over at the helm, contributing to the development of its main initiatives in the shipping business, still owned by the Cerruti Family.
Gastaldi became a representative of the “Prince Line” (Furness Withy Group), one of the most prestigious passenger and goods lines running from the Mediterranean to North America, and started actively collaborating in the project which saw the launch of a regular route to the ports of the Bristol Channel as agents of Cardiff’s “Golden Cross Line”.
Alessandro Cerruti also contributed to the establishment of “Lloyd’s Sabaudo” whose fleet included celebrated oceanliners with prestigious names such as “Conte Verde”, “Conte Biancamano”, “Conte Rosso” and others. For more than a quarter of a century, “Lloyd’s Sabaudo” ran a series of outstanding services to North America, Africa, Australia and the Far East. Following a governmental decree, the company subsequently merged into Navigazione Generale Italiana, which later became “Società Italia di Navigazione”.
The generational turnover of the Cerruti family brought ideas of success and development to the Gastaldi name, expanding and diversifying the business sectors beyond shipping routes.
In 1949, Gastaldi became a representative of the Corporation of “Lloyd’s” of London for Naples and the surrounding province. This mandate was soon extended to the entire North West of Italy, Sardinia, Rome and the Vatican.
Many initiatives were implemented during the company’s development, from the establishment of Banco dei Fratelli Cerruti in 1869 with its branch in Via Cairoli, Genoa, then absorbed into Banca Commerciale Italiana in 1968, and the real estate development in Genoa, Rome and Messina with the architect Coppedè, to the setting up of the steelworks company Stabilimento metallurgico ligure in Sestri Ponente and Cartiera Italiana in Turin.
Around the fifties, the Gastaldi Group took on an international size and made worldwide contacts in all shipping and transport sectors. A series of specific divisions were developed within the Parent company under the coordination of central management. The new svelte model immediately yielded results. This was the era when civil aviation took its first important steps and the prospects which arose in this new business saw Gastaldi play a leading role.
This saw the dawn of the company’s successful collaboration with LAI – Linee Aeree Italiane (then merged into ALITALIA). Subsequently, Gastaldi signed G.S.A. (General Sales Agent) contracts with the leading and most renowned national airlines of numerous countries (for example, Canadian Pacific, T.W.A. in the US, Brazil-based Varig, Qantas in Australia, South African Airways, KLM, and many more).
In the eighties, Gastaldi formed a close alliance with the Soviet shipowner of the Ministry for the Marine of the then USSR, becoming 50/50 joint partners in Dolphin Shipping Agent which alone brought more than 500 vessels to the port of Genoa.
During the mid of ’80s, Gastaldi is appointed GSA for The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia, national flag Carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Those are the years where the italian EPC contractors play a predominat role in the Middle East market, and the Saudi Carrier, now re-named BAHRI, places himself as preferential Carrier for the carriage of any type of cargo and OOG, from Italy to the Red Sea and Arab Gulf.
At the end of the eighties, Gastaldi participated to the privatization process of the port of Genoa, setting up – together with some trustworthy partners – the company GIP Gruppo Investimenti Portuali to contend the bid for tender for the Container Terminal, Porto di Genova Spa. The awarding of such tender led to the creation of SECH, Southern European Container Hub. As a systematic appendix to the activity of terminal operator, a dedicated Company named LOGTAINER, a leader in combined container transport, was founded, together with its associated Company NORDITALIA LOGISTICA, a Company entirely dedicated to trucking by road. On 2008 GIP signed an agreement with Sinport, which manages VTETerminal in Genoa and VECON Terminal in Porto Marghera (Venice). Afterwards, GIP acquires majority shares in Terminal Contenitori Darsena Toscana TDT in Livorno, in partnership with local Stevedoring Company, thus expanding its sphere of influence in Italian ports.
It goes back to more recent times the interest of GIP toward the denationalization of the Ferryboats Company TIRRENIA. With a minority share, Gruppo Investimenti Portuali and its partners won the tender and acquired the control of the former State-owned Company, thus giving guarantee of continuity of transport to the major islands.
Nowadays Gastaldi is one of the most “elderly” shipping agents still operating in the Italian Shipping&Transport sector. With a history spanning three centuries, Gastaldi operates, either directly or indirectly through investments, in the container, tramp, project cargo, freight, port terminal operator, and intermodal operator sectors.
Capturing the specialization and diversification trend that the tourism market began to follow at the end of the millennium, the Travel&Tourism division is currently broken down into a series of businesses synthesizing the group’s principles, where quality always presides over quantity and where attention to detail has always been and remains a constant and binding practice. From tour operating and incoming activities, incentives and DMC to congresses and events, each division is managed by svelte, agile and highly specialized companies.
In the insurance field, in addition to maintaining the prestigious trust-based mandate from Lloyd’s of London, Gastaldi International also represents over 500 insurance companies all over the world as their transport claims agency.
Strengthened by the endeavors and winning strategies of the past which led the Gastaldi Group to a prime position in the shipping and air transport, outgoing and incoming tourism, and incentive holidays sectors, along with real estate, financial and insurance activities, the group now boasts the dimensions and tools to tackle an increasingly more competitive market, pursuing with conviction its strategy of reinvesting profits and expanding main activities.