TRIPLE DELIGHT

Turkey 2020 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

Providing world-class logistics solutions to the firms laying the monumentally important TurkStream pipeline is but one of Ceynak's many contributions to the logistics sector.

Ali Avcı
BIOGRAPHY

Ali Avcı is the Chairman of the Board at Ceynak. He transformed the company from a local transport company into an international logistics company and was key to the company's establishment of logistics terminals in the Mediterranean, Aegean, Black Sea, Trace, and Marmara regions. Avcı is a member of TÜSIAD, vice chairman of TURKONFED, and chairman of SEDEFED. He graduated from Çukurova University's faculty of economics and administrative sciences.

How do Ceynak's different logistics services and infrastructure work together to form an integrated network for its customers?
Over the course of our 50-year history, we have developed ports located in major domestic and foreign trade centers, logistic centers, free zones, and container and liquid terminals, and offered logistic solutions to our customers with our efficient transport fleet management system. We are a success story of the development of the logistics industry in Turkey. Ceynak provides logistics services for 20 million tons of cargo annually with its four ports, two free zones, seven logistics centers, and two land terminals. We have always planned our investments around the strategy of offering integrated logistics solutions. Therefore, an increase in any logistics service directly affects the growth in other services. For example, a customer that brings bulk cargo to Samsunport has an integrated logistics solution to unload the product from the vessel, store it in our warehouse, pack it according to market demand, load it onto wagons or trucks, and deliver it to the final buyer by rail or road. Our customers can fully focus on the commercial part of their business after they have delivered their goods to us.

Can you outline Ceynak's capabilities for large-scale infrastructure projects?
Infrastructure and energy investments in Turkey require serious logistic organization and capability. We contribute to this process with our ports and shipping fleet. The TurkStream natural gas project signed between Turkey and Russia will be one of the largest energy projects in the region. Samsunport shouldered Turkey's part of the pipeline that will be built under the Black Sea. The pipeline building process is a challenging one and needs strong logistic support. The unloading, transportation, storage, and reloading of approximately 30,000 gas pipes, each weighing 12 tons, was completed successfully in thanks to the technical and professional competence of our port. The company conducting the TurkStream gas line project and the company that built the pipeline both thanked us for the successful logistical support we provided. They had previously been involved in similar projects around the world and did not receive such quality of service. These comments made us extremely proud and demonstrated the great progress made by Turkey's logistics sector.

What are the primary uses of Ceynak's storage facilities?
When we established our first logistics facility, a 10,000-sqm closed area in Mersin in the 1980s, Turkey had adopted a neo-liberal economy and opened its borders to the world. As the economy has developed further, we have invested in response to the needs of different sectors. Today, we have a total of 165,000sqm of horizontal warehouses and 560,000 tons of silos in Samsun, Kocaeli, Istanbul, Tekirdağ, Izmir, Mersin, Adana, and İskenderun. These are in service for all our customers, though we primarily serve the agricultural sector. We have the largest storage capacity after the Turkish Grain Board and can offer 1.5 million tons of storage all at once in bulk cargo, which mainly comprise grain and fertilizer.

Why does Ceynak want to move into port operations and this sector in general?
We acquired Samsunport for USD125 million in a privatization auction. Later, with an additional investment of some USD50 million, its business capacity tripled to reach 11 million tons. The annual freight handling figure, which was 1.5 million tons, tripled to 4.5 million tons. Our port, which did not receive container cargo before 2010, has become a favorite of the world's major container lines and handles 75,000-TEU containers today. It has also become one of the most important logistics grounds on the Turkey-Russia trade route. Agricultural exports to Russia are mainly carried out through Samsunport with regular Ro-Ro voyages, while grain products imported from Russia are unloaded and stored in our facility. We aim to increase the number of ports we operate in line with the strategic goals of our group. As a step in this direction, we undertook the operational services of Erdemir Port, where we unload approximately 11 million tons of goods annually. Our group now annually handles 17 million tons of cargo.