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What Is Happening In The Transportation Sector For Corona Virus Pandemic?

What Is Happening In The Transportation Sector For Corona Virus Pandemic?

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27 Mayıs 2020 Çarşamba - 18:29

Alper Özel, ''Plans Will Be Made To Make The Flow Of The World Trade System More Alternatively. Turkey Must Take Place Among Them'

What are the effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic process on the transportation sector and the potential of doing business? Are there any measures and projects for overseas transportation in the process? Are there mutual studies with similar NGOs abroad? International Transporters Association (UND) Chief Executive Officer Alper Özel answered our questions. You will find the evaluations of Özel about the process in our interview.

Alper Özel,  Plans Will Be Made To Make The Flow Of The World Trade System More Alternatively. Turkey Must Take Place Among Them



Highlights from our interview;

“Pandemic became evident primarily in our neighbours: Iran and Iraq. While our border gates were closed on February 23, the vehicles of many companies remained on the Iranian side. In addition, hundreds of our drivers stayed in Turkmenistan because Iran closed its border with Turkmenistan. Our driver waited for days in very difficult circumstances to return to Turkey. After the field hospitals were established at our border gates with Iran, they were able to enter our country with the support of our Association. Approximately 1300 drivers returned to the country. However, as a result of the closing of the Iran route, there began a concentration to Caspian route, which our exports to Central Asia are directed. Transition documents were insufficient, efforts were made to ensure the continuity of our exports through initiatives such as the provision of additional documents with the initiatives of the official authorities, and providing convenience to our drivers whose visa was terminated. Meanwhile, our border crossing with Iraq closed on 29 February. As a result of the cooperation of our association with the Ministry of Trade, the transportation was prevented from stopping with the Contact-Free Trade model. Transportation figures were able to reach the level before pandemic in a short time. In March, after the proclamation which defined Europe as the center of pandemic, health measures and mandatory quarantine implementation at our western border gates significantly disrupted our transports to Europe. Here, the Contact-Free Trade, which we have implemented with the support of our Ministry of Trade, has been able to ensure the continuity of our trade with the driver and trailer exchange process. ”

“In March, the Impact of the Virus on All Sectors Began to be Felt and Averagely 15 Percent of Job Losses Occurred in the Sectors”

“The impact of the virus on all sectors started to be felt in March and an averagely 15 percent of job losses occurred in the sectors. Our industry was also affected naturally and international transports, which started the year well, started to decline. When looking at the number of passes between February 17 and March 15 and between March 16 and April 12, the average number of transports decreased by 40 percent. The prolonged transportation times due to waiting at the borders and additional controls decreased performance, and returning to the country and performing the profession for our drivers whose visas terminated abroad has become a very difficult process. Drivers who could not obtain a visa due to the fact that most of the Schengen consulates in our country were closed, and the driver shortage in the sector has also negatively affected the performance, since they were caught in the quarantine restriction at the western gates. ”

“What we always say as UND; The Free Movement of Goods Should Not be Considered As Independent from the Vehicles and Drivers Carrying the Goods and Should Not Be Restricted in the Same Way”

"Upon the coronavirus threat reaching to the borders of Turkey, UND immediately set up a crisis desk. All developments are followed from this crisis desk; drivers and companies are informed instantly. In this process, we directly contacted all relevant official institutions and organizations to minimize the victimization of the carriers and drivers who brought our trade abroad. We informed the authorities about the needs of the sector and ensured coordination between the authorities and the sector. The Contact-Free Trade model, which was put into practice in Habur and Kapıkule for our trade, which came to a halt due to the virus, played a saviour role. With the support of UND, the trailer and driver changes were made, and the transportation continued, while an incredible performance emerged, and the number of exits through the gates returned to normal levels. 75 percent of Europe's supply chains are based on the highway. In this process, restrictions on internal land borders and bans on drivers affect this chain negatively. Problems such as experiencing the disruptions even in the supply of medicinal products and waiting for more than 24 hours put the EU administrations on alert. Communiqués were published one after the other by the EU Commission to facilitate goods movements to the EU countries and within the EU. The remarkable point in these communiqués is that: It was requested that the facilities to be applied in border crossings should be applied without discrimination among load, nationality or mode of transport. As UND, what we have always mentioned is that: The free movement of goods should not be considered independent of the vehicles and drivers carrying the goods and should not be constrained in the same way. What we are experiencing today clearly reveals this fact. In this regard, it is of great importance to make the Green Lines - Rapid Border Crossings mechanism and principles, which is an effective response developed by the EU against the risk of famine due to the pandemic, to be permanent after the epidemic and also for our transport relations with non-EU countries. "

“In Order For Our Exports To Continue Development, The Contact-Free Trade Model We Successfully Implemented In Iran And Kapikule And Habur Needs To Be Implemented”

“We are carrying out about 2 billion 700 million dollars goods movement to Iran. We have 6 billion dollars export to Central Asia and it is seen that our export has decreased to about 41 percent. We see that the transportation to Central Asia via Iran is shifting to the Caspian route (middle corridor) because our border gate with Iran is closed. However, on this route, we have serious problems such as insufficient transit documents, transit fees and driver visas. In order for our exports to continue development, the Contact-Free Trade model that we have successfully implemented in Iran, Kapıkule and Habur needs to be implemented. Moreover, in order to clear the Middle Corridor route through the Caspian from the problems we have mentioned, cooperation between all corridor countries should be increased. We expect the support of our Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure on these issues. ”

“The 14-Day Mandatory Quarantine Restriction Implemented At Our Western Border Gates In March Also Negatively Affected The Foreign Carriers That Carried Transportation Towards Our Country; In This Process, We Provided Continuous Information To The Equivalent Associations Regarding The Final Situation At The Borders”

“During the Covid-19 pandemic process, we have been in constant communication and cooperation with our counterpart associations in the countries we do transportation. The International Road Transport Association (IRU), of which we are a member, also supported the effective maintenance of this coordination. The 14-day mandatory quarantine restriction, which was introduced at our western border gates in March, also adversely affected foreign carriers traveling to our country. In this process, we provided continuous information to the equivalent associations regarding the latest situation at the borders. In the process of urgent removal of quarantine restrictions and transit time restrictions that may be encountered as a reciprocity to our transporters in the future, we have explained our attempts to end the process by sending articles to equivalent associations. In addition, we distributed food to the drivers who had to wait in the queues in Kapıkule with the support of the Red Crescent at the intensity of our border with Bulgaria. On the Bulgarian side, we have supported the distribution of food packages to the waiting drivers of our equivalent association, the International Transport Association of Bulgaria (SMP), with the support of the Red Crescent and the Red Cross. ”


“As a country, we are in a very important position in this regard. The dynamic, innovative structure of our industry and our location makes us lucky. Plans will be made to make the flow of the world trade system more alternatively. Turkey must take place among them. Considering the investments made in the transportation sector in our country in recent years, we can say that our hand is stronger. It makes us stronger because we have a very strong road network, our maritime transportation fleet and our port infrastructure are strong; in terms of the achievements in air transportation, we have one of the 3 largest airports in the world and the BTK line becomes operational on the railway. Using this power, we should plan now to build a supply chain system that can be modeled to flexible, immediate situations. WE must do the actual planning of logistics of the area we take place and of Turkey and we have to construct the scenarios. "

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