Porte and his team clocked a time of 19 minutes and 53 seconds over the 17.6km course to finish 27 seconds behind stage winners Orica-GreenEDGE.
But more importantly for the general classification battle, he now lies 20 seconds behind main rival Alberto Contador, whose Tinkoff-Saxo team finished second on the stage.
Post-stage Porte said that the race will be won or lost in the high mountains later in the three-week race.
"I think we were good today. Everyone was smooth and solid. We did a good job," Porte said.
"The race is not going to be won today. At the end of the day it's seconds now but it's going to be minutes in the end.
“You can get carried away during the whole first week about losing seconds. It's not ideal to lose time but it's not the end of the world.
"It's nice to just get the race started. Coming in here I feel fresh and ready to keep fighting."
Contador, who is looking to become the first man to achieve a Giro/Tour de France double since the late Marco Pantani of Italy in 1998, is the best placed of the expected general classification contenders.
“I’m very happy. Not only for the result but also because everybody on the team gave a hundred percent during the race,” Contador said.
“In general, our performance was really good despite one moment where we lost organisation. But we can be really happy about the result, as we have taken time on all our rivals.
The time gaps between the favourites are not big, but I’ll have some time on my direct rivals when we face the ITT. It’s always ideal to be ahead.”
Contador leads Fabio Aru, third overall last year, by six seconds after the local hope's Astana team took third place.
"I'm very happy with the way we rode. We can do anything during the race," Aru said.
Rigoberto Uran, runner-up in the last two editions, lies 12 seconds behind Contador after Etixx-QuickStep finished fourth 19 seconds off the pace.
Starting tomorrow it is basically a whole new race,” Uran said. “It will be a difficult first week including a difficult third stage and even an uphill finish in the fifth stage.
“But what we learned from the last Giro d'Italia is that everyday something can happen. We will do our best and look forward to the next days."
The second stage in the three-week race will cover 177km between Albenga and Genoa and will favour the sprinters.