Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu stated that approximately 1 million tons of cargo has been transported from the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) Railway Line, which connects Asia and Europe, to date.
Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoglu said that thanks to the mega projects they have implemented with the aim of making Turkey a logistics base, the country has a say in transportation in a wide hinterland.
Emphasizing that the transports made over the Middle Corridor, known as the BTK Railway Line and the Iron Silk Road, gained upward momentum, Karaismailoglu said, “From the day the line became operational, 1 million 7 thousand tons of cargo has been transported with 19 thousand 646 containers in 16 thousand 279 wagons. Exports made up 393 thousand tons of these shipments with 8 thousand 377 containers in 6 thousand 814 wagons, and import transports 614 thousand tons with 11 thousand 269 containers in 9 thousand 465 wagons.”
Karaismailoglu, noting that transit transports have an important place in import transports, He stated that in order to ensure the smoothest and most economical transportation of export, import and transit cargoes, they removed all obstacles in front of them in terms of infrastructure, technical and customs procedures, and that this line established a strong network between many production and consumption centers of the world.
19% INCREASE IN BTK SHIPMENTS
Pointing out that railway transportation comes to the fore in ensuring the continuity of trade in the conditions of the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic, Karaismailoglu said that the BTK Railway and the Middle Corridor are one of the most advantageous routes in maintaining the trade on the Asia-Europe line in the most healthy, fast, reliable and economical way.
Expressing that the BTK Railway Line directs the world logistics, Karaismailoglu gave the following information:
“236 thousand 52 tons of cargo was transported in 3,551 wagons from the BTK Line in the period of January-May 2020. In the same period of this year, the shipments increased by 19% to 280 thousand 878 tons in 4 thousand 507 wagons. Export shipments to Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, China, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan via the line also increased. In the first 5 months of this year, 64 thousand 378 tons of cargo, 1160 wagons and 1246 containers, was delivered.”
“TRANSPORTATION COST AND TIME TURNED INTO ADVANTAGE WITH BTK”
Karaismailoglu stated that Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, China and Azerbaijan lead the way in export shipments and reminded that they have sent 7 export trains to China and 1 to Russia since 4 December 2020.
He pointed out that while the exporter’s products were sent by sea in 45-60 days, the export trains traveled a total of 8,693 kilometers over Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan and China in about 14 days, and made the following assessment:
“This is a tremendous milestone in terms of logistics. Our trains going to Russia via the BTK Railway Line covered 4,650 kilometers in 8 days. Therefore, transportation cost and time, which are the most important factors in competition, turned into an advantage with BTK. The line started to offer the greatest logistics support to our exporters.”
Emphasizing that the mobility in the railway corridor established on the Turkey-China-Turkey line will increase gradually in the coming years, Karaismailoglu said that with the BTK Railway Line and the Middle Corridor, it is aimed to operate 1500 trains and transport 60 thousand TEUs of freight between Turkey and China in the medium term.
PRODUCT DIVERSITY INCREASED
Karaismailoglu went to Azerbaijan and stated that they had good talks with the BTK Railway Line on transportation and railway investments.
He stated that they see the railway not only as transportation but also as a very important element that strengthens the ties of brotherhood and reveals the strategic potential of the country.
“In this context, our railway investment priority will continue to increase. After the epidemic, we will reach our goal of becoming a logistics base with our strong transportation network, step by step. The fact that railway investments reach 60% and the railway network reaches 16 thousand 775 kilometers in 2023 will make a very important change and transformation in the logistics sector. I believe that we will do much better things with the General Directorate of TCDD Transportation and other train operators.”
Pointing out that the products transported also diversified with the increase in the variety of wagons, Karaismailoglu said that products such as citrus, marble, soybean meal, miscellaneous foods, iron ore, construction materials, white goods, pipes, boron mines, manganese ores were added to the export shipments, which were previously started with cargoes such as refrigerators, coolers, boron mines. And products such as lentils, wheat, feed, adipic acid, copper cathode, paper, walnut, silicon, coil, billet sheet, sunflower and steel construction were imported.
Stating that the existing train services have been increased and new block freight trains have been put into service in order to meet the increasing demand for transportation carried out by the General Directorate of TCDD Transportation Inc., Karaismailoglu said, “The Iron Silk Road brings abundance to all the lands it passes through today, as it did in the past.”
Source: Sabah / Translated by Irem Yildiz