Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

​Historical record from BALO in railway transportation

13.09.2013 / Ankara

BALO, transporting the goods of Anatolian industrialists to Europe, started its run with a historical record. Departing from Manisa last Sunday (September 8th), the first fare train of the Great Anatolia Logistics Organizations Inc. (BALO) reached Germany in 4 days. Stating that the travel time has been brought down to the minimum possible by speeding up bureaucratic processes, it was noted that 4 days are a historical record in railways transportation terms.​

Stating that they’ve achieved a first in the history of railway transportation, the President of the Union of Chambers and Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “In actuality, it was impossible that a train leaving Manisa would reach Munich in 5 days. In order to motivate my friends and speed up the process, I said that we would reach Munich from Manisa in 5 days. Afterwards, many friends stated that 5 days would be impossible and we should amend the statement. However, we were able to transport the products of the Anatolian industrialists’ labor to Germany in a record 4 days. This is a historical record. I would like to congratulate the Board, especially BALO Board President Bülent Koşmaz and the Director General Hüseyin İşteermiş.”

- Runs starting from Ankara and Konya

Emphasizing the importance of the great support provided by the Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım, the Customs and Commerce Minister Hayati Yazıcı and the TCDD Director General Süleyman Karaman, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that their partner on the European side, Austrain Federal Railways also contributed greatly to this success. “When we reach the capacity to send trains from Manisa or any other province to Munich every day, when our companies adopt using trains for transportation, we can reach Germany in 5 days. Runs will start from İzmir, Manisa, Ankara and Konya next week. Soon, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, Kayseri and Denizli will be added. Bursa and Balıkesir business communities’ loads will be transferred over Bandırma,” said Hisarcıklıoğlu.

Urging the business world to make use of the railways, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “BALO is not in competition with overland or maritime transportation. Logistics companies can make use of this system as well. Individual freight trains tend to lose money and after a while, confidence in railways falls. Let’s combine our freight in BALO; BALO is the company of the Turkish business community.”

- How does the train transportation system work?

Goods produced in various cities of Anatolia will be consolidated at logistical centers as a part of the BALO Project, moved to Bandırma via freight trains. From there, the goods will be shipped to Tekirdağ via container ship. Freight trains will then carry the goods to Europe. A good example of combined transportation, this model will lower costs in terms of both time and resources. Goods from Europe will also be transported to Turkey via the same route. Initially, goods will be transported to Munich and Köln twice a week. At the beginning of 2014, there will be 5 shuttle trains. An agreement for carrying of the goods from Tekirdağ has been signed with the Austrian Federal Rail.

- BALO’s partnership structure

BALO has a partnership structure spread throughout Turkey, chiefly with TOBB. 51 chambers, 24 exchanges, 15 organized industrial zones, UTİKAD and UMAT companies are among its partners. İstanbul exports 51% of its goods to Europe; İzmir , 61% and Bursa, 78%. This rate is only 33% in Konya and 24% in Gaziantep. As transportation costs will decrease, it is anticipated that Anatolian industrialists will market more goods to Europe.

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