The threat of overcapacity in Turkey continues to hang over the sector, as operators rush to meet the changing demands of shipping lines.
Roy van Eijsden, managing director of Royal HaskoningDHV Turkey ELC Group, told delegates at Transport Events’ 3rd Black Sea Ports and Shipping 2014 conference: “We don’t share every project’s opinion: some large projects will never be developed for a number of reasons.”
Location, demand, hinterland links, berth capacity and storage were all cited as factors that need greater consideration in the region. “Some of the projects planned in this region fail on these criteria. Transhipment should be seen as a possible extra but not as a basis for construction.” He added that terminal competition in the region is getting “fierce and getting fiercer”.
Jolke Helbing, ICF International consulting director, shared Mr van Eijsden’s concerns: “Government strategy is based on very optimistic forecasts. There is a need for more capacity in Turkey but you have to look at where the markets are.”
He added that 2014’s estimated port capacity utilisation of 72% could drop as low as 65% if plans for additional capacity are taken into account.
OMSAN Lojistik’s Capt Umur Ugurlu added that he felt that Turkish government’s targeted 15% share of Black Sea volumes is “very optimistic and probably impossible”.
That said, Mr van Eijsden confirmed that the long term outlook is very positive for Turkey, explaining that the overall effect of cascading, slow steaming and high fuel costs will benefit east Mediterranean ports. “We expect really good GDP growth recovery throughout the region and container penetration to continue. The relatively low shipping costs are set to dominate for several years to come and this will favour higher container volumes throughout the region. For 2015 our scenarios include 8m teu potential and the overall potential in Turkey may reach 20m teu by 2025.”