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Transportation and Logistics 

Turkey, one of the most vibrant economies among emerging countries, sits at the heart of a major crossroads in global trade, bridging East and West, Europe and Asia.


Turkey’s strategic location provides access within a four-hour flight radius to multiple markets with a combined population of 1.6 billion people, a combined GDP of USD 24 trillion, and more than USD 14 trillion of foreign trade volume, which corresponds to almost half of total global trade volume. Trade in Turkey has been rising significantly, and the region as a whole has assumed a larger presence in global trade. In 2016, Turkey’s exports reached USD 143 billion, and they are expected to reach USD 500 billion by 2023. Furthermore, Turkey’s current GDP of USD 857 billion is expected to reach USD 2 trillion by 2023.


The Turkish economy, which has been growing at an average annual growth rate of almost 5.6 percent over the last 14 years, provides many opportunities in the logistics sector. In addition to its robust economic growth, Turkey has one of the largest and youngest labor pools in Europe. More than 42 percent of Turkey’s population is aged between 24 and 54, and the strength of this 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.


Public and private infrastructure investments in the last fifteen years have significantly improved the logistics services provided in Turkey. Many new airports have been built, and highways have spread across the country. In addition, the growing high-speed train network has begun connecting major cities, and the capacity of Turkish ports has been increased. Turkey is also building 21 logistics centers, 7 of which have been completed and 2 of which are expected to be opened by the end of 2017. Various modes of transportation will be offered within these logistics centers, thus helping to reduce overall logistics costs.


The Turkish government has set ambitious targets to be achieved by 2023 in an effort to further improve the logistics infrastructure. These targets include, but are not limited to:


  • Having a total road network of more than 70,000 km; 8,000 km of it being highway and 36,500 km of it being dual carriageway
  • Having a total railway network of 25,000 km, of which 12,000 km will be high-speed railway
  • Increasing total road tunnel length from 360 km to 700 km
  • Increasing annual passenger transportation to 1 billion persons and freight transportation to 125 million tons
  • Constructing new airports such that the distance a person has to travel to reach an airport anywhere in Turkey is no more than 100 km; this will increase Turkey’s total annual capacity to 400 million passengers
  • Increasing container handling capacity from 8.4 million TEU to 32 million TEU
  • Increasing vessel fleet carrying capacity from 29.2 million DWT to 50 million DWT


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 the freight carried in the region. The current size of Turkey’s logistics industry is such that it accounts for 12-13 percent of the country’s GDP. Immense growth is expected according to 2023 GDP targets, with the industry estimated to reach a volume of USD 200-240 billion by 2023.