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DB Cargo is expanding transport links to Turkey

It is planned to expand the service further by the end of the year. These trains, which are fitted with special double-pocket wagons for transporting semi-trailers, take five to six days to make the journey to Cerkezköy, near Istanbul.

“With this new connection, DB Cargo is offering the first rail product on this route that is capable of travelling with semi-trailers all the way to the destination, 40 kilometres short of Istanbul. Previously, the only way to do this by rail was with containers,” says Andreas Schulz, Head of the Intermodal Division at DB Cargo.

Turkey’s outstanding economic prospects form the background to this new service, which is especially attractive to German, Belgian and British customers, who are keen to send their goods to the Turkish market. Until now, the main exports to Turkey have been industrial and other goods, while textiles have been Turkey’s principal exports to the European market.

Good economic prospects

Turkey’s expanding foreign trade and its favourable geographical location make it an attractive business destination. The Turkish government is currently putting a lot of money into boosting rail’s share of freight transport. DB Cargo’s transport services could make a significant contribution here.

The new operations are being conducted on behalf of the Turkish freight-forwarding company Ulusoy Logistics. They involve consignments that were previously transported between Western Europe and Turkey by ferry and lorry and have now been switched to rail. With this service, DB Cargo is now offering two solutions for rail transport to Turkey: one via the Port of Trieste, which involves a transfer, and the new, direct, overland connection.

DB Cargo organises these transport operations itself, using its national subsidiaries in Germany, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. “Through our own national subsidiaries, we already have a strong DB Schenker Rail presence in South-eastern Europe. As far as the Turkish growth market is concerned, this is an advantage we intend to continue exploiting in the future,” says Hans-Georg Werner, Head of Region East on the DB Cargo Management Board. In addition to handling rail transport operations, DB Schenker offers terminal and agency services in Germany and Turkey. A simplified customs procedure significantly reduces waiting times at the Turkish border.

Logistics on the Bosporus

The Turkish logistics sector has an estimated market volume of $6.5 billion and employs around 400,000 people, according to Germany Trade & Invest, the Federal Republic of Germany’s foreign trade and inward investment agency. According to the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), the government plans a rapid expansion of the country’s transport infrastructure in order to support the sector’s growth prospects. By 2023, it intends to build an additional 15,000 kilometres of highways and motorways, 9,000 kilometres of additional high-speed rail lines, new airports with a total annual capacity of 400 million passengers, and three large ports in each of the seas surrounding Turkey. The aim here is to boost the proportion of sea freight in the modal split to 15 per cent in container transport, and the share of rail in freight transport likewise to 15 per cent.