Turkey, one of the most vibrant economies among emerging countries, has been a natural bridge between the East and the West, serving as a junction between the continents of Asia and Europe.
Turkey’s strategic location provides access to multiple markets with 1.5 billion people, a combined GDP of USD 25 trillion and more than USD 8 trillion of foreign trade which corresponds to around half of the total global trade. Trade in Turkey has been rising significantly and the region has more of a presence in global trade. In 2012, 1.2 percent of the global trade volume was conducted by Turkey, and the country’s share in global trade is expected to exceed 1.5 percent by 2025.
The Turkish economy, which has been growing at an average annual growth rate of 5 percent over the last decade, provides many opportunities for the logistics sector. In addition to its robust economic growth, Turkey has one of the largest and youngest labor pools in Europe with more than 65 percent of its population aged between 24 and 54. The strength of Turkey’s labor force is reflected in the logistics industry. Investors can easily hire a talented workforce at a competitive cost to address the complex demands of the industry.
Both public and private infrastructure investments in the last ten years have significantly improved the logistics services provided in the country. Many new airports have been built, dual carriageways have spread across the country, the high-speed train network has started to reach major cities and the capacity of Turkish ports has been increased. The Turkish government has set challenging targets to be achieved by 2023 for improving the logistics infrastructure even more. These targets include, but are not limited to:
- Building an additional 15,000 km of dual carriageways and highways
- Increasing the shares of railway transportation to 10 percent and 15 percent in passenger and freight transportation respectively
- Building an additional 9,000 km of high-speed train lines
- Constructing new airports with a total annual capacity of 400 million passengers
- Increasing the share of sea freight transportation to 10 percent in total freight transportation and containerization by 15 percent
- Building three large ports in each seas surrounding Turkey
Turkey’s advantageous geographical location, which provides easy access to Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, allows the country to function as a hub for over USD 2 trillion worth of freight carried in the region. Turkey’s current logistics industry size is estimated to be USD 80-100 billion and is forecast to reach USD 108-140 billion by 2017.
Turkey is also building logistics centers/villages that will serve to lower the costs of transportation by offering various different modes of transportation within these centers/villages. It is estimated that, by 2023, the total freight carried in the centers/villages will reach a total of USD 500 billion.