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ITE Transport and Logistics

What’s in Turkey’s transport & logistics project pipeline?

We keep highlighting the fact that Turkey is the ultimate land-link between Europe and Asia. That’s because it’s true – and it might be why transport and logistics is one of Turkey’s fastest growing economic sectors.

Transport & logistics in Turkey: a big industry getting bigger

Since 2002, the industry has tripled in value. Now, transportation and logistics services represent roughly 10% of Turkey’s GDP – valuing the sector around the $80 billion mark. By 2023, estimates from IPSAT say, the sector will be worth between $150-200 billion.

2023 is an important year for Turkey. It marks the 100th anniversary of its foundation as a republic. The Erdogan has committed to some huge nationwide projects - partly to celebrate this momentous occasion, but also to shoot the Turkish economy into the stratosphere.

Some big goals that will affect the freight handling industries have been laid down. By 2023, Turkey aims at:

• Boosting foreign trade to reach $1.1 trillion turnover, with $500 billion in exports and $600 billion in imports
• Increasing levels of transported cargo across all modes to reach 625 billion tons

Lofty goals to be sure – but the drive to achieve these targets has lit a fire under Turkish transportation.
The government has set aside billions to invest in the industry, including updating of key infrastructure links, building new facilities, and acquisition of modern technologies and logistics solutions.

Let’s take a look at some of the projects either completed, underway, or about to kick off ready to create a more competitive, efficient transportation network across Turkey.

Turkish railways get billions in investment

Turkey’s rail network measures 12,000 kilometres at the moment, and forms a crucial part of many East-West transport corridors.
Development of Turkish railways is a multi-billion dollar endeavour. By 2023, as much as $40 billion will have been poured into the sector – making it a key market for international suppliers of rail tech, rolling stock, and other in-demand technologies. 

The Turkish government has identified the following as priorities to cover before 2023 comes calling:

• Liberalisation of the rail system
• Share of rail to increase to 15% for cargo transportation (up from its 5% share)
• “Modern Iron Silk Road” linking East and West – possibly part of China’s One Road One Belt initiative – to be developed
• All marine ports to be connected to rail links
• Total track length to be expanded to a total of 26,000 km
• 10,000 km of new high speed rail track to be built
• 4,000 km of new conventional track to be built
• Main stations and terminals renovated and new terminuses for high speed trains will be constructed to be built
• Electrification and signalisation systems for each, along with renovation of existing lines
• New metro lines/light rail systems/trams in larger cities

Air sector to see more airports built Turkey-wide

Air freight remains the smallest transport mode in Turkey, so much of the nation’s improvements are based around improving passenger turnover. 

The nation is massively popular tourism hotspot, especially amongst UK and Russian travellers, so construction of airports is very much a priority.

That is not to say that building new airports for passengers will not have an impact on the air cargo industry. Far from it. Istanbul New Airport, amongst the largest under-construction airports in the world, has planned freight capacity of 5.5 million tons.

Here is what Turkey has planned for the air sector until 2023:

• 8 new airports to be built
• 4 new terminal buildings
• $10 billion Istanbul third airport with major passenger and cargo capacity.

Increased intermodality to hit Turkish ports

85% of Turkish foreign trade is covered by maritime carriers. Intermodal transport naturally plays its role – but this often takes place after Turkish ships have docked at foreign ports. Certainly, European-based trade often relies heavily on intermodal transportation with a sea-based starting point for Turkish shippers.

With 2023 looming, efforts are now focussed on improving multi-modal connections between Turkey’s ports and the rest of its transport network. 

That is not all though. Existing ports are to be expanded, canals will be dug for in-land waterway expansion, and fleet sizes are to be increased too.

Check out what is on the horizon for the Turkish maritime industry below:
• Candarli Port to be built on the Aegean Sea to be Europe’s first container port with a 12 million TEU capacity
• Filyos Port to be built on the Black Sea to have 25 million TEU capacity
• Mersin Port expansion to handle 2.6 million TEUs
• Maritime industry to reach $32 billion container transportation market value
• Maritime cargoes to reach 350 billion tons of liquids and 500 billion tons of dry cargo annually
• Turkey to become a 10 top ten country for ship size
• Increasing capacity of marinas to 35,000 ships

Turkish road network to get a huge boost

Turkey’s road network, including urban, rural roads, and highways, covers 23,522km. An extra 14,000 km is currently either under construction or planned before the Republic of Turkey’s 100th anniversary. 

Road transport accounts for the vast bulk of domestic cargoes transport – covering 85% of the market – so an expanded network should ensure smoother, more efficient and cost effective operations going forward. 

The below is to be completed before the 2023 deadline:

• 5,748 km of highways
• 9,000 bridges/viaducts with a total length of 600 km
• A third bridge over the Bosphorous Strait
• Izmit Bay Suspension Bridge – will be the world’s 4th largest) with a 1550m span
• Canakkale 1915 Suspension Bridge – will be the world’s longest with a 2023m span
• 3-floor Istanbul tunnel
• 238 tunnels with a total length of 330 km

How can foreign firms capitalise on Turkey’s transport & logistics projects?

For technology suppliers working in the Transport sector, Turkey could be a gold mine. The United States Export Agency has identified the following areas that hold the big opportunities for logistics and transport technology manufacturers:

• Traffic engineering, management, measurement, control and signalization systems
• Electronic Detection, and camera and security systems
• Variable message, communication and digital information systems
• Lighting Systems
• Tunnel SCADA, vehicle tracking and fleet management, data management
• Marine Technology: Port superstructure, vessel tracking systems, oil spill detection and contingency preparedness, underwater mapping

To really capitalise on these projects though you need to meet the buyers and specifiers involved. 

That’s where ITE’s Turkish transport and logistics events come into play. Please head on over to our events page for more information, or contact us to learn more about these networking opportunities.

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