A strategic connection point
In 2013, Ekol had several successes. We have maintained full steam our investments in Europe, most recently in Hungary. Never ceasing our investments, with a view to offering higher quality services to our customers, we founded Ekol Hungary with an investment of €1 million in one of the most strategic spots on the geopolitical map of Europe. Ekol Hungary gives us a strategic connection point to Europe with the company’s existing intermodal network. Intermodal transportation, combining rail, road and sea, will provide Hungarian customers with reliable, cost-efficient and sustainable solutions.
In Hungary, we commenced our operations as of October 1, offering our customers international road transportation, intermodal transportation, customs clearance and third-party logistics services with an office in Budapest and our storage facilities of 1,500 square meters, located near the customs office. Ekol Hungary, expects a turnover of €7.5 million in 2014, and aims to become the market leader in the Turkey-Hungary route.
We obtained Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) certificates for all four of our facilities – where all export operations take place – located in Bursa, Izmir, and on the Asian and European sides of Istanbul. With the AEO speeding up trading, our customers will not be slowed down by the bureaucracy of customs procedures, since we can provide them with full customs services at our own facilities 24/7 without needing to go to the Internal Customs Administration or queuing; the customs procedure, which is*the* significant issue for the sector, is solved by the AEO Certificate.
We acquired Transuniverse Nakliyat ve Lojistik Ticaret A.Ş., the Turkish subsidiary of the Transuniverse Group, a leading logistics firm in Belgium. We continue to expand in Europe by incorporating the Turkey Branch of KLG Europe, the leading logistics service provider in Holland. We provide faster and easier transportation between Turkey and Holland through this acquisition.
In parallel to such growth, in 2013, we added the Ro-Ro line to our portfolio of investments with the aim of offering sustainable and competitive services to our international customers located mostly in Europe. The service between the ports of İstanbul and Trieste runs three days a week with three modern Ro-Ro vessels (‘Hatche’, ‘Paqize’ and ‘Qezban’), each equipped with state of the art technology, and with a capacity of 240 trailers.
What to expect in 2014?
We think that the Turkish logistics sector will keep producing double-digit growth in 2014. Within this, we will again increase our share for the next three years. We will focus on reducing bureaucracy, dealing with international physical and non-material obstacles, our surrounding geographies and the disturbances they can pose to small-scale enterprises, and consolidation. 2014 will bring a move toward the program of ‘Efficiency Coming with Profitability’, reaping its fruits and maintaining the many challenges of realizing the program. These topics will be on our agenda.
Green logistics is raising value in our sector. This concept will maintain its importance. Now, many important companies expect that their suppliers will be sensitive to environmental concerns as well. We offer solutions by adopting a ‘green logistics’ concept. Recently, we were awarded a Green Office Diploma by WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) Turkey. We have achieved reductions in our impact on nature from our various practices in waste management and office operations to the lowest level, as well as making savings on our electricity and water costs within the framework of our program. We joined the WWF Green Office Program near the end of 2010, and we are privileged to be the first Turkish brand participating in the program. We have once again been awarded a significant award for environmentally responsible operation.
On May 14, we were granted a European Eco Performance Award 2012, which was presented in a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany. The European Eco Performance Award is organized by St Gallen University.
We have made an important step to lower greenhouse emissions in implementing block train services. Using this system, less contaminating materials are emitted because no trailer trucks are used during the main phases, noise contamination is prevented, a considerable energy saving is achieved and minimizing the amount of CO2 is possible on a large scale.
We aim to become one of the first five names that come to mind in logistics in Europe. We are proceeding confidently towards this goal through substantial investments. Logistics has been the fastest growing sector in Turkey in recent years and will continue to grow in the future due to its potential and increasing foreign trade volume.
Today, companies look for a way to provide a competitive advantage in production costs and quality and the most common means to do so is to manage the supply chain in one single resource by cooperating with a pioneering integrated logistics service provider. Companies have recognized this and are starting to conduct their work in cooperation with skillful suppliers such as us.
In this sense, along with a general acceleration in the sector, a very efficient place may be found for logistics processes thanks to the geographical location of Turkey, and in this manner, the significance of the sector is increasing on an international scale.
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