The war environment between Russia and Ukraine, which has an important place in Turkey's foreign trade in terms of volume, also echoed in the Turkish logistics industry. Expressing that many truck drivers are stuck in the region with their vehicles, UTIKAD Chairman of the Board Ayşem Ulusoy evaluated the effects of the war between Russia and Ukraine on the logistics sector.
The war environment between Russia and Ukraine continues to cause concern in the Turkish logistics sector, as in all other sectors. As UTIKAD, we hope that our Turkish citizens in the region will return to Turkey safely and that this war environment will be left behind. In terms of the logistics sector, we are closely concerned with the safety of our Turkish truck drivers. Although we do not create a crisis desk within our own structure, we closely follow the work of the UND and TR Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and provide support at necessary points.
According to the latest information we have, more than 250 Turkish trucks were able to exit the Ukrainian border. All countries at the border grant Turkish drivers the right to direct transit without a visa. When the war begins, the danger continues for vehicles that are far from the highway side. Currently, discussions are being made to establish the latest Ro-Ro line from Varna to Port Caucasus.
In Europe, SWIFT has been closed to some banks, but some are still open. This shows that trade will continue, however, Russia has lost its status as a transit country and final destination country. Europe can technically sell the goods it produces or currently sells, but it has no way to go. At this point, Turkey can take a very serious task. However, the route through Ukraine used by the European Union countries is no longer an alternative due to the war. That's why Turkey comes to the fore. The cargo leaving the European Union will reach Central Asia and from there to Russia. Currently, all manufacturers using this line are requesting alternative routes from logisticians.
Vehicles loaded with export goods from Ukraine were able to pass in their normal course, but vehicles loaded from Russia are not allowed to exit Ukraine at the moment. TR Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure is in contact with the authorities of Ukraine, Russia and surrounding countries. Turkish Bayraklı It is aimed that all our citizens and cargo carrying vehicles, from ships to Turkish trucks, leave the region safely.
Since the news that the Ukraine line is closed, almost all the volume has been directed to the Verhniy Lars gate. (Georgian – Russian) There are currently more than 20 kilometers of queues at the border crossing and we will see the actual longer queues this week. Queues that can reach 120 km are expected to form. In addition to these, there may be block train transports on the Turkey - Georgia - Russia line that could do business if commissioned. However, this mode can be active if Russia takes a positive approach and moves forward with a problem-solving attitude. As a result of the sanctions imposed, Russia's entry through Europe does not seem possible at the moment.
Firms working intensively in the region for RO-RO have made a request to the TR Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure to establish a line with a common idea, but there has been no positive development yet. The most important point here is that Russia shows a suitable port for RO-RO and the port is constructive in terms of local costs. There was no positive response to the current initiatives.
Some container lines continue to operate to Russian ports. I talked to Arkas. They do not work in Ukraine, but they continue their flights to Russia. Notifications are made to the cargo owners in the containers that have been filled in Turkish ports and are waiting to be loaded on the ship for Ukrainian ports, and they are requested to be unloaded and taken back. Because it is unclear when the full containers waiting for export can go to Ukraine; they issue such a warning and request due to the port storage and shipowner demurage costs that may occur.
In addition to all these, Ukrainian airspace and ports are closed. There are no operations related to the airline departing from and arriving in Ukraine. Flight routes have been changed so that they do not pass through Ukrainian airspace. The EU has banned Russian planes. Turkey has not yet made any new regulations on this issue. LH announced that it will not use Russian airspace for its Far East flights. Air freight and passenger transportation between Turkey and Russia continues.
It is expected that the upward trend in airline freights will continue due to reasons such as the change / extension of flight routes in the region, the inability of the Russian commercial aircraft fleet to serve the EU market, and the increase in oil prices due to the war.