Globalization is a concept that has its roots in the second industrial revolution: the one that was celebrated in 1889 during the Universal Exposition in Paris and which, in the same years, saw Captain Giovanni Montanari give life to his company to bring what was baked in large factories to the places where their customers were. Navigazione Montanari was born, a company that dedicated itself to the transport of goods between the ports of the Mediterranean: at first it was the so-called “dry goods”, especially wood and other raw materials, but things would soon change. After the fleet has grown between the First and the Second World War, the company took the direction that still animates its business today, thanks to the adoption of innovative vessels built in Italian shipyards that combined sailing and motor navigation and thanks to the guide of the second generation of the Montanari family, that established the company as one of the protagonists of its reference market (it was Captain Arturo Montanari who took the helm of the ship).

Realizing that oil and its derivates would be among the main goods transported on the seas in the following decades, Navigazione Montanari gave birth to a new fleet: it was the third generation that chose to buy some of the first examples of tankers in service in the Mediterranean, and thanks to that choice made by the brothers Giannetto, Attilio and Alberto, the foundations for a thriving business were laid. The fleet would gradually expand over the following years, until it reached such dimensions as to become a real leader in its sector: thanks to the historical relationships built over time with leading players, Navigazione Montanari has developed a thriving turnover that has seen its specialized tanks made with technologies that would also increase safety in navigation to sail the seas and transport the petrochemicals on all short-medium range routes. A peculiarity of the Montanari ships: they all take their name from Italian valleys, with a curious combination of seas and mountains.

Future challenges

However, the business grew steadily until the acquisition of Navigazione Alta Italia Spa which took place at the end of the 90s, to further expand also through the listing on the stock exchange. There have been difficult moments, but the management has decided to take advantage of the circumstances, such as the financial crisis of 2008, to review its business model and follow market trends, while also restoring the accounts: today fleets are leaner and much more attention is paid to the average age of the ships, with the aim of reducing operating costs and fixed capital as much as possible, also through long-term leasing. And this is exactly the path chosen today by Navigazione Montanari: for about a couple of years it has also started a progressive renewal of its fleet, selling older ships to other overseas operators and purchasing more modern and efficient ones to continue to guarantee to its historical customers the same type of service offered up to now for over 130 years.


Under the guidance of the fourth generation of the Montanari family – today Corrado Arturo Montanari is the President and CEO of the Group – and to cope with the fluctuations that the oil market has gone through in recent years, it was decided to provide for the rationalization and the modernization of the fleet. The plan provides for a total investment of over 120 million euros over the next 3 years, thanks to the financial support of illimity and SACE, to replace some of the older ships (some have already been successfully sold to other shipping companies) with 4 more recent and technologically advanced ones, capable of bringing the operational capacity of the fleet back to maximum levels. Thanks to this investment and taking advantage of its historical presence in the sector and its consolidated business relationships, Navigazione Montanari is already today one of the most efficient companies on the reference market and aims to increase its profitability by riding the expected recovery in the coming years.

Now, Corrado Montanari has the task of finding once again a new route for NavMont: as in the best traditions of the great dynasties of entrepreneurs, the current captain has chosen to make a career in building his own experience away from home, having started his own career as a shipowner in the 60s dealing with maritime charters in London and then returning home to resume the helm of the family business. Corrado Montanari has also created the Montanari Foundation, which since 2005 has set itself the goal of promoting meritorious initiatives in various sectors: culture, economy, health and third sector. But with his gaze always fixed on the horizon in search of new successes for his business, as every captain of a vessel should always do.

Keys to success:
Knowledge of the business
Agility in decisions
Transparency in objectives