Turkey Ranks 15th in the World with its Merchant Marine Fleet

Turkey is in Line in the World with its Merchant Marine Fleet
Turkey Ranks 15th in the World with its Merchant Marine Fleet

Adil Karaismailoğlu, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, pointed out that maritime transport is the backbone of global trade and emphasized that 2053 billion dollars will be invested in the maritime sector until 21.6. Stating that Turkey ranks 15th in the world in terms of its global maritime fleet, Karaismailoğlu noted that Turkey's role in maritime transportation will be strengthened with Kanal Istanbul, one of the most important transportation projects not only in Turkey but also in the world.

Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu spoke at the opening of the 2nd Turkey Maritime Summit; “At the Turkey Maritime Summit, which we held for the first time last year, following the results of the regulations in our country regarding the sector, dealing with the bottlenecks experienced in cooperation with both other relevant public institutions and the private sector, determining the road map for the steps to be taken for the future, Mavi Vatan and Kanal Istanbul. The issues of strategic importance came to the fore. We have followed these issues one-on-one. We have worked with our industry within the framework of common sense.”


Within the scope of Turkey Maritime Summit this year; Karaismailoğlu stated that they will come together in 4 main sessions on the development of the Turkish maritime fleet, the employment of ship crew, the infrastructure of marine structures in the focus of logistics and geopolitical developments, and continued his speech as follows;

“We will discuss our strategies, goals and works related to our seas, which are indispensable for both our country and the world. Maritime transport, which undertakes 90 percent of world trade, is undoubtedly the center of the world economy and the backbone of global trade. 70 percent of the cargo carried worldwide is transported by sea. Sea transportation with low cost and efficiency advantage; indispensable for sustainable economic development and prosperity. Maritime transport; It is 22 times more economical than air transport, 7 times more economical than road transport, and 3,5 times more economical than rail transport. These data remind us today, even today, of the famous Turkish sailor and statesman Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha's saying, 'He who rules the seas will rule the world'."


Pointing out that the maritime sector, where the volume of cargo by sea has grown more than 50 times in the last 20 years, is the most strategic sector in global trade, Karaismailoğlu said, “However, in today's world, where we feel the impact of globalization more and more every day, a development that has taken place anywhere in the world is another development. countries, directly or indirectly. As we all know, the coronavirus epidemic that emerged in China has spread all over the world, countries have closed their borders, people are isolated, transportation is disrupted, and the emerging supply chain problems have reshaped almost all sectors. Statistics show that the approximately 19 percent trade contraction in the world due to covid-30 is deeper than the 2008 financial crisis. During the pandemic period, in this difficult process, the logistics sector of our country has given an important test like all other countries. In the years 2020-21, there were many negativities such as high freight prices, unavailability of empty containers, and inability to deliver orders on time due to delays in raw material supply due to the effect of the pandemic. Container prices and freights broke historical records. More than 40 percent increases were observed in port and handling fees, which constitute 50-30 percent of the operating costs. Similarly, significant increases were recorded in the transit tariffs through the Suez and Panama canals, which are important junction points of the world's shipping. In addition to the extraordinary increases in freight rates in the spot markets, second-hand ship prices have reached very high levels with the direct effect of the increases in the amounts signed under long-term contracts.


Stating that brent oil, whose barrel price was $2020 in the first quarter of 15, exceeded the peak of the last 2022 years in 10 and increased approximately 2 times in 7 years, Minister of Transport Karaismailoğlu said, “Scrap prices, which doubled compared to 2020, reached the peak of the last 2 years with 600 dollars. rose. To summarize, this extraordinary increase in costs in the maritime sector changed the supply-demand balance. This situation naturally reflected on the freights. According to a publication of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; The 13 percent increase in container freights increased the world average inflation by 12 percent. All in all; While a 1,6-size container was transported from the Chinese port of Shanghai to the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands for 40 thousand dollars by sea 2 years ago, we all experienced a period when this amount exceeded 2 thousand dollars and increased 10 times. After the logistics activities that came to a standstill during the pandemic; The backlogs in the bottlenecks in maritime logistics continue to be recorded due to reasons such as depletion of stocks, pending consumer demands coinciding with the same times, and the demand for the service sector not reaching pre-pandemic levels yet.


Explaining that historical peaks are seen and continue to be seen in the Port Congestion indices, Karaismailoğlu said, “Hundreds of ships, containers full of millions of tons of cargo are waiting for their turn to enter the port in the anchorage areas. Due to the density in the chain, there are significant delays in the return of empty containers. On the other hand, we also observe that even the slightest political development in any country has a significant impact on the maritime sector. Together we witness the effects of the war between Ukraine and Russia. Despite all these developments, our country has emerged from this bottleneck with the investments planned with the mind of the state, the measures it has taken and the support it has given to the sector. With its important geostrategic and geopolitical location connecting three continents, our country is in fact a candidate to be a logistics base not only in terms of the maritime transport sector, but also in every mode of transportation. Turkey; With a flight time of 4 hours; We are in the middle of a market where 1,6 billion people live, with a Gross National Product of 38 trillion dollars and a trade volume of 7 trillion dollars. The undeniable importance of our country in international trade, which is the key to the "Middle Corridor", which is the shortest, safe and economical international transportation corridor between the Asian-European continents, is increasing day by day. a train departing from China to Europe; If he chooses the Middle Corridor and Turkey, he will cover the distance of 7 thousand kilometers in 12 days. If the same train goes on the Russian Northern Trade Road, it can cross the 10 thousand kilometer road in at least 20 days. When he uses the Southern Corridor, he can traverse the 20-kilometer route through the Suez Canal in only 60 days. That is why the Middle Corridor is currently the safest and most stable global logistics corridor between Asia and Europe.”


Expressing that this environment is the result of huge investments made in every mode of transportation, Karaismailoğlu said, “As the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, we have followed a transportation policy that has continuously developed and strengthened international transportation corridors since 2003. In the last 20 years, we have invested 183 billion dollars in the transportation and communication infrastructure of our country. We have largely solved Turkey's infrastructure problem that has been going on for years. our country; We have transformed it into an international corridor in every mode of transportation between Asia, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Caucasus and the Northern Black Sea countries. We have successfully completed and put into service giant transportation projects such as Marmaray, Eurasia Tunnel, Istanbul Airport, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Line, Filyos Port, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, Osmangazi Bridge, 1915 Çanakkale Bridge, İzmir-İstanbul, Ankara-Niğde and Northern Marmara Highways. we are open. We increased our divided road length from 6 thousand kilometers to 28 thousand 664 kilometers. We have increased our highway network to 3 thousand 633 kilometers. We built 1432 kilometers of high-speed train line. We increased our total railway network to 13 thousand 22 kilometers. We increased the number of airports to 57. By increasing our international flights to 129 destinations in 338 countries, we became the country that flies to the most destinations in the world by air.”


Noting that very important progress has been made in the maritime sector in the last 20 years, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Karaismailoğlu continued his speech as follows;

“With our maritime merchant fleet capacity of 31,2 million dead-tons, our country ranks 15th in terms of the global maritime merchant fleet. We increased the number of ports, which was 2002 in 149, to 217, and the number of shipyards, which was 37, to 84. As a result of the measures we have taken despite the epidemic, unlike the world, our country has grown in the maritime sector in 2020 and in 2021. Despite a 1,2 percent decrease in container handling and a 3,8 percent decrease in total cargo handling worldwide, there was a 2,6 percent increase in total cargo at our country's ports. The amount of containers handled increased by 8,3 percent compared to the previous year and amounted to 12.6 million TEUs. The total amount of cargo handled increased by 6 percent compared to the previous year and reached 6 million tons. Therefore, an increase above the world average was observed in port handling in our country, both during the pandemic process and during the period when the effects of the pandemic decreased. In the January-May 2022 period, despite the Russia-Ukraine war, an increase of 7,2 percent in cargo handling and a 3,2 percent increase in containers was recorded compared to the same period of the previous year.


Expressing that Turkish maritime, which has made great progress in terms of capability and capacity in the last 20 years, has also taken significant steps in terms of Turkey's reputation, Karaismailoğlu explained the steps taken by the Ministry in the maritime sector as follows;

“It has doubled our pride: As our Ministry, we implement the necessary supports and incentives. Scrapped Turkish, which we put into effect in April 2021 Bayraklı We have also activated an important incentive mechanism in accordance with the Regulation on the Incentive of the Construction of New Ships Instead of Ships. It is strategically important for Turkish-owned and actually operated ships to hoist the Turkish Flag, as they constitute a power in all our justified defenses regarding our Blue Homeland, which affects our country's interests. At this point, with the sessions to be held at the Summit, a road map will be determined for the transition of foreign flag ships to the Turkish flag.”


Karaismailoğlu said, “In the light of Turkey's 2053 Vision, we shared our 10-year transportation and communication investment plan, which will bring our country to the place it deserves in the 'top 30 economies of the world', with the entire public. Noting that 30 billion dollars will be invested in the maritime sector until 198, Karaismailoğlu stated that this way, 2053 billion dollars will be contributed to our national income. Explaining that its effect on production will exceed 21.6 billion dollars, Karaismailoğlu emphasized that its contribution to employment for 180 years will be 320 million people.


Minister of Transport, Karaismailoğlu, said, “In short, in our 2053 Transport and Logistics Master Plan, we have reserved a special place for maritime lines, which are the basis of our Blue Homeland and the key point of our integration in transportation. We will increase the number of port facilities from 217 to 255. We will ensure the use of highly renewable energy resources in our ports by expanding green port practices. Autonomous ship voyages will be developed and handling efficiency will be increased with autonomous systems at ports. We will develop the multi-modal and short-distance maritime transport infrastructure that can serve the countries of the region by expanding the transfer service capacity of the ports. Kanal Istanbul, which is one of the most important transportation projects not only in our country but also in the world, will strengthen Turkey's role in maritime transportation. We will increase the safety of navigation in the Bosphorus and reduce the ship traffic in the Bosphorus. Kanal Istanbul, which will bring a new breath to maritime transportation, is a vision project that emerged in line with the technological and economic developments in the world and in our country, changing economic trends and the increasing needs of our country in terms of transportation infrastructures. When Canal Istanbul is completed, in addition to ensuring the safety of life and property in and around the Bosphorus, and preserving the historical and cultural texture of the Bosphorus; It will alleviate the traffic load of the Bosphorus by reducing the waiting times at the entrance and exit of the Bosphorus.”


Emphasizing that Mavi Vatan is fully protected, Karaismailoğlu said, “As the ministry, we provide all kinds of facilities for the growth of Turkish maritime trade fleets, and we continue our initiatives to support the relevant stakeholders in this process. Because we are aware of how important the development of Turkish maritime is for our country's interests. Turkey will make its weight in the maritime field more felt in the future and will become one of the leading countries in the maritime sector by increasing its competitive power. Our Turkey Maritime Summit will yield successful results in the process of achieving the planned targets. We will take steps to strengthen the industry by following the results of the maritime summit one-to-one,” he concluded.

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