A new container and breakbulk shipping line from Marmara to the Caspian Sea, via the Russian inland waterways, saw the completion of its trial voyage at the end of last month, connecting Turkey to the strategically-important region of Central Asia.
The new shipping route, called the Turkey – Caspian line, to be jointly launched by P&O Maritime Logistics with the support of DP World Yarimca and several other DP World group companies, will provide regular container based shipping between these markets for the first time.
The Turkey – Caspian line provides speed and cost advantages, while also reducing carbon emissions by 17% compared to road-based transportation. Efficient door to door delivery will be offered through select third-party logistics partnerships for onward carriage into the landlocked areas of Central Asia – providing customers with a streamlined, hassle-free service.
In 2020, approximately US$31.2billion in trade took place between Turkey, Russia and Central Asia1. The region accounts for 6% of Turkey’s exports and 9.6% of Turkey’s imports. In the same year, US$17.8 billion of imports and US$4.5 billion of exports were made with Russia, one of Turkey’s largest trade partners.
With these markets being some of Turkey’s most important trading partners, P&O Maritime Logistics is well-placed to facilitate even closer trade connections between Turkish businesses and the region through DP World Yarimca with direct shipping via the Russian river systems into Aktau & Turkmenbashi ports in the Caspian Sea.
The new line utilising P&O Maritime Logistics’ Multi Carrying Vessel (MCV) will mainly transport containerised products such as industrial machines, construction materials, textiles, cosmetics, white goods, and marble, while additionally offering a convenient service for breakbulk & project cargo.
MCV type vessels are ideally suited to navigate the Russian rivers and it is expected that at least two more vessels will be outfitted and classed for container carriage for the new line’s launch in the coming months.
The state-of-the-art container terminal at DP World Yarimca, is now one of the largest in the Izmit Gulf and Turkey, with a capacity of 1.3 million TEUs and offering specialised solutions such as super-post panamax quay cranes and electrified rubber tyred gantry cranes (e-RTG). During the trial voyage, these modern facilities enabled an extremely fast vessel turnaround, contributing greatly to the efficiency of the service.
Kris Adams, CEO of DP World Yarimca, said: “The new Turkey – Caspian line between Turkey and the Caspian Sea makes the movement of goods more streamlined and less costly. With our knowledge of the trade networks between these countries, we are aiming to support our customers to be more competitive in these markets.
“With trade booming between these regions, the opening of a new sea route will undoubtedly be a boon to firms operating in these markets.”
Martin Helweg, CEO of P&O Maritime Logistics, said: “There is immense potential for increasing the efficiency of trade between Turkey, Russia and Central Asia. P&O Maritime Logistics were selected because of the ability to carry both breakbulk and container cargo, which fits with the type of goods that move on this route.
“With land transport making up 95% of total carbon emissions for the transport sector, this new river-sea based route is more cost effective and environmentally-friendly than cargo transport.
“With this solution we can reduce carbon emissions by 17% or 0.5 tonnes per container, saving the customer on average 10-20% of the cost compared with trucking and bring the cargo to the destination 15% faster compared with rail, enabling our customers a range of benefits.”