Alternative to Gelincik Port

Looking for an alternative to poppy port
Looking for an alternative to poppy port

Similar to the process we have had with Russia in the past years is still on the agenda. As you may recall, a similar process happened in 2009 with Sochi Port. After the Sochi Port was closed to freight transportation in 2011, trade came to a halt in Trabzon and freight traffic had primarily shifted to Samsun. Samsun managed to correctly evaluate the preferability that Sochi Port caught with the closure. Especially between 2002 and 2014, it has reached an increasing momentum in international transportation. Although Gelincik Port increases its importance in terms of fresh fruit and vegetable exports, we also know that especially Black Sea exporters have expressed their demand for opening the Sochi Port at every opportunity.

After the closure of Sochi Port, the balances are just sitting and now the same process is happening for Gelincik Port. As reflected to the press in the last days of 2018, the preparation of a serious preventive plan has started at the Ministry of Trade with the introduction of Gelincik Port for two years. The main reason for this is, of course, Russia's being the biggest market when it comes to our export of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eastern Black Sea Exporters Association (DKİB), according to data from Turkey to Russia dates between Jan. 1 and July 16, 2018 was exported 460 thousand 154 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables. In this period, the export of fresh fruits and vegetables increased by 44 percent and 64 percent in value compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching 337 million 736 thousand 532 dollars. In a period where we put our export targets so much in order for the country's economy to reach prosperity, we are faced with a process that will seriously disturb the logistics sector in cargoes such as fresh fruit and vegetables.

Because, the export of fresh fruits and vegetables for Gelincik Port is usually done as trailer transportation. Departing from Samsun, Black Sea companies take the lead in these transports made with Ro-Ro ships to Gelincik Port. These companies both trade fresh fruit and vegetables and also operate in the field of transportation and services. Undoubtedly, the introduction of the Gelincik Port will negatively affect the commercial activity in and around Samsun. In addition, the negativities to be experienced here will be felt in many regions that develop agriculture dependent economy in our country such as Antalya, Manisa / Alaşehir, Fethiye, Kumluca / Fenike, Adana, Mersin and Hatay regions.

So, is it possible to create an alternative route to Gelincik Port? When Gelincik Port is taken into service, the most suitable route of Ro-Ro or other ships carrying these loads should actually be one of the ports in the Novorossky Region, such as the port no. 39. However, the ports of this region still have a very heavy ship traffic. In this context, since such cargoes are not tolerant of waiting, there may be great problems.

When we consider the processes that the container ships are exposed to, it is clear that there will be a need for other alternatives that are smaller but smaller than the draft depth 4 to 4,5 meters. In this case, Port Kavkaz and Port Temruk Ports may be offered for export of fresh fruit and vegetables. However, it is necessary for the public authorities to initiate these ports and the customs administration to which they are attached to the trade of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Cihan YUSUFI
UTIKAD Vice Chairman of the Board
Journal of Maritime Trade

Günceleme: 16/02/2019 13:00

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