The current set-up of the port has been historically conditioned by the presence of the large steelworking industries that arose at the close of the 19th century, and were to develop during the last century in the areas surrounding the port. Piombino is in fact home to an important industrially productive district, where the companies present are controlled by some of the most important multinational groups in the world, such as
- Lucchini SpA, the second-largest steel plant in Italy, belonging to Severstal (Russia), which produces a wide range of specialised, high-quality, long products (bars, rods, billets, rails), directly pressed pieces, forged parts and laminated flat parts;
- Magona d’Italia SpA, of the Arcelor/Mittal group(France & India), product leader in the sector of pre-painted and galvanised thin steel laminates;
- Tenaris Dalmine, of the Techint group, specialised in the production of welded pipes for water and gas conduits.
Thanks to this type of traffic, and others linked to different companies in the territory, Piombino is in seventh place amongst Italian ports for the dry bulk sector. The other historic vocation of the port is closely linked to the ferry sector (Elba, Sardinia, and in season Corsica) given the high number of passengers (the fifth port in Italy), a consequence of the tourist development of the island of Elba and of the notable increase in ro/ro traffic to and from Sardinia.
Structurally, the port has a basin limited to the south-east by the breakwater quay, called Batteria, and to the north-east by the ex-ILVA jetty. The northern area of the port is prevalently used for port operations with the steelworking companies, which are carried out on the ex-ILVA jetty (south side 470 metres, north side 270 metres). The port operations relating to other dry bulk are carried out on different infrastructure: the Giuseppe Pecoraro wharf, with 275 metres of berthing, the Magona jetty, with two berths of 105 and 155 metres, and the Marinai d’Italia quay of 125 metres. Passenger traffic uses the Dente Nord Capitaneria (85 metres), the Elba jetty (75 metres) and piazzale Premuda, the Trieste quay (135 metres), along with the Batteria quay (285 metres), for ro – ro and passenger traffic with Sardinia.