Logistics centers that offer storage and transportation services encompassing road freight, railway, sea freight and air freight and combined transportation opportunities are becoming more important each day. The first thing that comes to mind with global logistics is long distances and a wide range of customers around the world. However, with a variety of customers comes a variety of customer expectations. Global logistics can therefore be defined as a system that efficiently utilizes and integrates all transportation forms. The notion of global logistics stipulates the effective utilization of transportation firms and other logistics operations.
In this day and age, it is not possible to think of international corporations without global logistics services. For example, oil companies require logistics solutions for their drilling, transportation, storage and refinery activities.
Competition in the global market is not among competing companies but among supply chains consisting of such competing companies. This race is also evident among the staff managing such supply chains because low prices and high quality of supply chains determine the level of customer satisfaction. Only those companies that are the fastest, the strongest, the least expensive and that can provide the best solutions with the highest quality will survive the race. Companies that focus on competitive advantage have already begun outsourcing storage, distribution, packaging, recycling and customs clearance operations, which were once carried out internally. Companies that are able to outsource efficiently are the ones that remain standing in such fierce competition.
Implementing such changes and vision is especially crucial in this age of competitive production. There is production potential worldwide with low labor costs and high quality becoming possible concurrently. Hence, what determines the winner is the delivery speed, recycling, extent of warranty and repair time. This is where logistics services add unique value to a company and its competitive advantage, creating a novel concept in logistics, i.e. niche logistics, which can be defined as client and product-focused logistical solutions.
It is an indisputable fact that logistics has played a vital factor in the survival and continuation of Turkish existence for thousands of years starting from Central Asia to modern-day Turkey. A survey of Turks’ history unravels a nomad culture with examples including experiences on commercial trade routes such as the Silk Road and the Spice Road, the migration of tribes that opened a new era and the conquest of Istanbul which was achieved by moving ships overland. These milestones in Turkish history illustrate how significant the role of logistics was in shaping the fate of an entire nation.
Turkey is a bridge between continents and plays a crucial role in transportation between Asia, Europe and Africa. Both historically and recently, this geographic position has presented us with many important opportunities in terms of logistics, such as the establishment of logistics centers and parallel and balanced transportation modes. Nevertheless, there is still work to be done, especially in the marine industry, where there is a need to develop maritime, restructure ports as centers and support ports and hinterlands with connections to land and other modes of transportation. Furthermore, logistics centers will add to the efficiency of commercial services by serving as a departure and destination point for parties to carry out collection, distribution, storage, categorization and various container transportation activities. All bureaucratic activities can also be completed in such centers. The efficiency that will be achieved with these logistics centers will benefit the national economy and facilitate Turkey’s role as a future global hub for logistics.
The creation of such logistics centers is included in Turkey’s 5-year investment programs and certain steps have already been taken in line with this plan. A draft law has been prepared to form logistics villages that will act as organized logistics areas in 12 different points with a 300 million Turkish Lira investment. These villages are expected to become active as of the end of 2016 and contribute 16 billion USD to Turkey’s exports. The plan aims to establish a total of 20 villages: 7 villages have been completed while the remaining are in construction or planning phases.
Turkey’s economy is the 16th largest economy in the world and the 6th largest in Europe. Turkish merchant marine fleet is ranked 25th in the world. While the geostrategic position of Turkey is an important one, we must strive to improve our commercial and logistical force and seize opportunities that come along. We should remember that constructing bridges and becoming a country of transit does not create wealth. It is only by becoming a center for logistics that Turkey will claim the lion’s share. However, this requires a high level of coordination, specifically in strategic planning. Incorporating the logistics sector within Turkey’s industrial policies will facilitate such coordination.
Three conditions for a country to become a logistical hub are a geographic advantage, physical infrastructure and corporate infrastructure. It is an indisputable fact that Turkey possesses the first condition. However, Turkey needs to enhance its physical and corporate infrastructure to bring it to modern standards. For this purpose, Turkey has created a transport plan and development strategies, but in order to complete these enhancements, logistical integration and a strategic approach are necessary.
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