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Data from HawkEye 360 shows Italy’s maritime activity dropped by half during COVID-19 lockdown

New data from HawkEye 360 shows that Italy’s maritime activity in its ports dropped by half (51%) after the country-wide lockdown on March 10th and has remained subdued ever since, as the country prepares for a phased re-opening on Monday. This data provides insight into the impact of the coronavirus on Italy’s trade and tourism industries – months before national statistics provide a formal assessment.

Since the March 10th lockdown, marine activity has largely come to a standstill in tourist destinations Venice and Florence while Genoa, Gioia Tauro and Trieste, some of the biggest cargo ports in Italy and all of Europe, have experienced significant decline.

The data, collected by HawkEye 360’s satellite constellation, measures changes in patterns of vessels from Italian ports.

Above image visualizes port activity in Italy, which saw a sharp 51% drop in marine activity during the countrywide lockdown. Interestingly, vessel activity spiked right around the start of the lockdown, perhaps hinting at people fleeing the country for better tourism opportunities. Traffic remains subdued through April.

Above image visualizes the dramatic change in vessel traffic utilizing heatmaps of the data. This is a comparison in X-band navigation radar for eleven days in early March before the countrywide lockdown and eleven days in the middle of March, when the lockdown was in force.