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UTİKAD: “Logistics can generate foreign currency as significant as tourism”

27 January 20245 min reading

UTİKAD President Bilgehan Engin emphasized that with effective utilization of geographical advantages, the logistics sector could become a foreign currency source of comparable importance to tourism. Criticizing exporters for overly fixating on freight prices, Engin pointed out that the crisis in the Red Sea had globally escalated freight prices, deeming it a normal occurrence in the context of ongoing events. Anticipating the persistence of the crisis’s impact into the first quarter of the year, Engin expressed their expectation that security would be reinstated in the Red Sea.

The annual press conference organized by the International Transport and Logistics Service Providers Association (UTİKAD) addressed significant developments in the logistics sector in Turkey and globally. Held on January 10, the meeting drew intense interest from both the sectoral and national press. UTİKAD President Bilgehan Engin and FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations) President Turgut Erkeskin successively outlined the current dynamics within the industry and outlined Turkey’s pivotal role in the world of logistics.

President Bilgehan Engin, in his inaugural address, acknowledged the exporters’ sensitivity to the rise in freight prices, stating, “Disruptions in the supply chain and the escalation of freight prices are global issues. It’s entirely normal for prices to rise given the current circumstances.” Drawing parallels with export powerhouses China and Germany, Engin remarked, “Exporters’ competitiveness will grow as we export high-value-added products similar to these countries.” Providing trade statistics for 2023, he indicated that Turkey imported goods worth 361.8 billion dollars and exported goods totaling 255.8 billion dollars. Engin also highlighted that service exports reached 85.3 billion dollars in the January-October 2023 period, with freight revenues noted at 11.9 billion dollars. He concluded, “If Turkey effectively leverages its geographical advantages, the logistics sector has the potential to become a foreign currency source as significant as tourism.”