“The value of logistics is on the rise and its contribution to the country’s wealth is continuously increasing. It is one of the most important sectors deserving to be strengthened, as it will be one of the central sectors in the future in both strategic and economic sense. If the logistics sector is strengthened; textile, automotive and agriculture sectors are strengthened as well. Thus, we call it ‘the central sector’. Logistics is the core power that distributes the power it gains to every area.”
Çetin Nuhoğlu - Chairman of the Executive Board, International Transporters’ Association (UND)
In the last couple of years, we faced with extraordinary developments in Turkey and in our region. Beyond any doubt, these developments affected our sector deeply. The industry and our companies have been going through a very difficult time. This situation, unfortunately, also affects our service quality and our works. Due to our sectors’ dynamism, hard work and positive reflex adopted in difficult moments, we succeed in surviving against all these kinds of negativities. The logistics industry is a great chance for Turkey. As a country that chooses to grow with exports, we need to increase our speed and service quality.
As it is known, Turkish logistics sector and Turkish exports share the same route. One cannot show better or worse performance than the other. All companies involving in the export sector have to cooperate with logistics sector. What I mean by cooperation is beyond the understanding of working and doing business together. This cooperation is sharing a common fate. As we keep saying, our country needs an export-oriented growth plan for its development. This has been revealed with the goal of exporting USD 500 billion. During the last 15 years, Turkey’s exports increased USD 100 billion and that is a very important development. Turkey broke the export record in 2014 by making 157.6 billion dollars of export. However, the treacherous putsch and ensuing events have caused a fall in our export performance. As Turkey focused on fighting against internal and external terrorist attacks, Turkey was obliged to partially gloss over the economy. At the beginning of 2017, the economy minister said, “We will focus on the economy,” and in 2017, Turkey’s exports increased. This year our exports increased by 10.22 percent and reached 157.1 billion dollars. Thus, after 2014, we reached the highest export figure.
This picture affects the logistics sector’s performance as well. Especially in the first half of the year, our exports, which had the same performance as the previous year, showed a big increase, particularly in the last quarter. We have an aim to increase our export from USD 15 billion to 50 billion in 2023. Our government has increased its support for service exports and in particular logistics services exports. The establishment of Service Exporters’ Association, the supports of Turquality and Brand and the determination of 2023 Service Export Strategy can be ranked among the most important incentives.
The logistics sector has to draw a roadmap and decide on its aims for itself. We see that the big companies in the industry and production have taken steps towards digitalization in the recent period. The spread of digitalization brings a significant level of dynamism to the economy. According to McKinsey’s report, there will be hybrid sectors without any boundaries in the coming period.
The biggest contributor of digitalization is the reduction of costs. Recently, the trend of digitalization has intensified due to the electronic data, mobile applications and artificial intelligence. As the result of all these, customers’ expectations have been re-shaped. Boundaries for all companies distributing their products or transporting these have been redrawn. The most important feature of this newly formed boundary is that there is no boundary.
Then, what are we supposed to do? First of all, we will draw a roadmap for ourselves. While drawing, we will take the past into consideration and draw our vision and decide on the plans to reach this vision. In short, we will prepare our strategic planning. We need to have a big source of information while preparing this plan. Beyond from the existing problems and opportunities, we need to analyze the problems, opportunities and new trends that may arise in the future.
As an association, we will be working hard to solve the problems of the sector. The UND will be the address against problems faced by our companies in Turkey and abroad. In 2017, we won the greatest legal battle not only for our sector but also for Turkey. The European Court of Justice ruled Turkish trucks will not be charged with pass fee. We launched a similar court case in Austria. We will win this case in 2018 and we will show the injustice behind the obtrusion of mode and Ro-La on Turkish vehicles. 2018 will be remembered as courtroom victory just like 2017.
Consequently; the value of logistics is on the rise and its contribution to the country’s wealth is increasing. It is one of the most important sectors deserving to be strengthened in the future, as it will be one of the central sectors in both strategic and economic sense. If the logistics sector is strengthened; textile, automotive and agriculture sectors are strengthened as well. Thus, we call it “the central sector.” Logistics is the core power that distributes the power it gains to every area.
We are working on clearing the way for our sector with this consciousness. If new ways are opened for our sector, the export sector will also benefit. If the export increases, Turkey’s way will also be opened. I wish that Turkey and the sector will develop and have more gains in 2018.