UPS is obviously a global company and we go where our customers ask us to go. We’ve seen more and more of our customers moving operations here, and making investments in Turkey. We began to see that Turkey was a “must have”—one of the main markets.
AT THE CROSSROADS
It is clichéd to say, but Turkey really is a crossroads. The EU is on our doorstep. There is great access to Africa and the CIS region. There is great physical connectivity as well as cultural connectivity throughout the region.
I think Turkey could be an important global source of talent. Employees here are educated and highly motivated. They are the kind of people we can use not only in Turkey but anywhere else in the world.
LEADING THE WAY
When DHL came to Turkey in 1981 it opened Turkey up to the rest of the world, and the rest of the world to Turkey. We are now the leading express company and we have about a 50% market share in inbound and outbound documents and shipments, and we offer services to many destinations.
AFTER THE CRISIS
There has been a different shift in the last few years—the crisis saw traditional European and US markets shrink or stop growing, and Turkish entrepreneurs started looking to new markets such as Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East.
The main challenges are those faced by exporters and importers. The importers are doing well because the Turkish currency is strong, and therefore it encourages an inflow of goods. The Turkish population is hungry to buy anything. However, the challenge to exporters is that the Turkish currency’s strength makes Turkish goods uncompetitive.
YUSUF ZİYA GÜNDÜZ
Due to the demographics of Turkey, with families distributed across the country in rural and urban areas, there is a big need for C2C shipment handling. Our branches distribute packages and we have close to 800 around the country. Given the number of branches, we have the biggest distribution network in Turkey after PTT, the national post.
I think Turkey logistically is situated as a commercial hub for the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the CIS, and the Middle East. Manufacturing quality and Turkish entrepreneurial skills allowed Turkish companies to establish good relations in the neighborhood. This growth trend is something that we aim to be a part of.
We will work on our visual identity and improve our efficiency by including more automation into our methods. We now have state-of-the-art handheld terminals and we are always looking at new technology to streamline our business.
The association came into operation to introduce industry to the importance of freight forwarding and logistics. The Turkish transport industry was previously dominated by trucking companies due to the nature of foreign trade that Turkey had at that time—between Europe and the Middle East. We decided that the market shouldn’t be controlled solely by truckers, but by freight forwarders also.
Turkey has a huge potential to be a multimodal hub between Europe and the Middle East, but we need a strong rail network to make this a reality. The air industry is strong with major airfreight activities having developed over the last five years.
Firstly, we would like to see the quality of the services our members offer increase. This is directly linked to their profitability. Secondly, we would like to see better customs regulations that enable Turkey to become a logistics hub in the region. Finally, we would like to see more logistics-orientated investments such as centers linked into the railway network throughout the country.
© The Business Year