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Tyre management can decide the race at the Lausitzring

Tyre management can decide the race at the Lausitzring

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9 Şubat 2019 Cumartesi - 12:58

''It Is Really Sad That Survival Has Become the Only Goal of The Sector''

Ekrem Karaoğlu, the General Manager of EKSA Transport has pointed out the issues brought by the monopolization in ro-ro transportation and said: "How are transportation companies that work with 120-180-day maturity payments supposed to make cash payments to ro-ro transportation and then survive?

 It Is Really Sad That Survival Has Become the Only Goal of The Sector

In order to discuss the current state of companies that conduct transportation to European countries, we made an interview with Ekrem Karaoğlu, the General Manager of EKSA Transport that conducts transportation to all European countries except Italy and Greece. Karaoğlu has pointed out the issues brought by the monopolization in ro-ro transportation and said: "How are transportation companies that work with 120-180-day maturity payments supposed to make cash payments to ro-ro transportation and then survive?

Mr. Ekrem, can you briefly talk about your company?

Our company was found on November 1, 1995. We've been conducting international transportation for the last 24 years, since the day we were found. Our company has been doing project, out-of-gauge and heavy cargo transportation since 2006. We transport all kinds of heavy and out-of-gauge products like industrial machines, power plants, CNC lathe machines and aircraft engines. We conduct transportation to all the European countries except for Italy and Greece. We provide transit project and out-of-gauge transportation from Turkey and Europe to Azerbaijan, Iran, Georgia and Armenia. Our fleet comprise of different scale and different types of vehicles registered under our C2 Authorization Document. We have a total of 53 vehicles: 38 self-owned and 15 rental vehicles.

What would you say about the general state of the transportation sector and its development?

The sector has been going through a rather challenging period since 2016; it is struggling against issues. Even though it provides the largest share of foreign exchange income after the tourism sector, the transportation sector is not aware of its current state and magnitude. We're talking about a giant sector that provides employment for 500 thousand while supporting the national economy with a magnitude of $20 billion.

The transportation sector serves an annual export volume of $70 billion while exporting $8 billion of service itself. Today, this sector is struggling to survive among all the challenges and problems.  While Turkish companies have Europe's largest and youngest transportation fleets; unfortunately, they are not aware of their strength and capacity due to these issues and sanctions. This sector needs urgent support.

Sadly, we're currently crushed by high costs and we're unable to make new investments, just losing strength with each day. It is really sad that survival has become the only goal of the sector, rather than aiming for further growth.

What do you think about foreign companies taking over the sector? Do you believe that the presence of foreign transporters causes unfair competition?

Just as we have no chance to compete with foreign companies, I really can't see that we ever will. Document issues, visa problems, border gate troubles, fines and discouragement policies are all negative factors. Honestly, it seems a bit difficult for us to even have a chance to compete with them.

"How Are Transportation Companies That Work With 120-180-Day Maturity Payments Supposed to Make Cash Payments to Ro-Ro Transportation and Then Survive?"

As an international transportation company, do you use ro-ro transportation?

Yes, we use ro-ro transportation. Problems started to come up in this segment ever since the last quarter of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. They're deriving their strength from being the sole company in the sector and unfortunately, they're using this power to apply heavy sanctions. When we try to bring up our issues and problems to demand or present solutions, we face a very harsh and anti-solution structure. Rather than meeting on common ground, they are pursuing a very harsh policy, which is very far from any commercial and moral ethics in life.

The ro-ro company has to come together with the sector and urgently provide sustainable solutions that will satisfy both sides. As this solution process goes on, many companies in the sector will be forced to declare bankruptcy. How are transportation companies that work with 120-180-day maturity payments supposed to make cash payments to ro-ro transportation and then survive? At this point, they have to just sit down, think and be realistic.

What sort of applications do you see when you enter other countries?

Generally, we don't have any issues at border crossings. Most countries just check the standard papers of the vehicles at their border gates. They ask for the inspection and roadworthiness certificates, TÜV-certified tacograph documents and valid transit papers. In terms of cargoes, they require CMR, invoice, TIR carnet and transit declaration papers. For out-of-gauge cargoes, additionally they check for a valid permit.

"They Could Be Entitled for Green Passports"

How do they issue you the international transit papers? How do you acquire the transit documents to conduct transportation to a foreign country?

For the transit papers, we apply to the Chamber of Shipping at border gates. There are Ministry-designated routes at our destinations. We state whichever route we will use, on our applications and receive our papers. Some countries issue annual transit documents. These types of documents are determined by the Ministry at the beginning of the year and announced to these companies. Again, these documents can be acquired from TOBB İstanbul Central Chamber of Shipping by making an application.

What are your expectations from the government and NGOs for the solution of these issues?

For example; they could entitle a green passport to some of our drivers who have been driving for 10 years, always working abroad, acquired visas 2 to 3 times each year and never committed a disgraceful offence. Traffic insurance and foreign green card insurances could be merged to reduce the costs. Likewise, it would've been a great advantage for the sector if there wasn't any motor vehicle tax for commercial vehicles. Granting EXIMBANK and KGF loans could also be an effective factor. In order to help the transportation sector, survive through this tough period, we need to start and increase the number of applications that would improve our international competitivity.

 
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