Heavylift / Breakbulk
Finding the right niche
The Turkish logistics market is booming, which has also resulted in an increase in the number of project logistics companies. Kita Logistics has already been active in the sector for a while now. ITJ editor-in-chief Christian Doepgen recently caught up with Kita CEO Emre Eldener at the Fiata World Congress in Istanbul, They discussed Kita expanded services and its influence on the market.
Mr Eldener, how has the project cargo business changed over the past ten years in Turkey?
As the market has grown, so has the competition. And a lot of logistics companies have expanded their activities. For example, twelve years ago we were one of the first logistics firms to start exhibiting at energy industry events. Today, that’s common practice.
Could you tell me about Kita Logistics’ current service and product palette?
We cover the entire range of air, sea, ground and multimodal freight services, and have 18,000 sqm of warehousing capacities available. Of course, project cargo logistics constitutes a significant part of our business. Alongside our activities in the Balkans and the CIS, we’re also present in the Middle East, including Iraq. We recently also opened an office in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).
Can you give me some figures?
In 2013, Kita handled around 10,000 t of air cargo and 17,500 teu of sea freight. Our project logistics division processed around 400,000 t of freight.
Before we shift our focus to your project business, I’d like to talk about your airfreight results – which are quite impressive.
Yes, we’re very proud of our high Iata ranking: In 2013, Kita nabbed the number 15 spot among Turkish airfreight service providers.
As an expert on Iraq, could you tell us about the current trade situation there?
Things remain unstable in the country, which makes it difficult to predict future market development. But at our location in Erbil it’s business as usual. Border traffic is still very high risk, in that freight always needs to undergo customs clearance directly at designated border stations. But in that respect, too, we’ve been lucky so far. But the security situation has driven prices higher. I estimate that the cost of trucking in Iraq has risen by about 30%, while the total volume of transported goods has decreased by up to a third.
Prior to the current destabilisation, the area was seen as a real boom region. Can you still do business there?
Absolutely. We’re one of several firms that is providing logistics services for the construction of a cement factory there. The project is being led by a Chinese general contractor, with numerous subcontractors. Materials shipments started in mid-October, and overall, we’ll be transporting a volume of between 4,000 and 5,000 teu of material.
How big a presence does Kita Logistics have in the Turkish project cargo sector?
What I can tell you is that we have a very significant share of the domestic project and heavylift cargo markets, thanks to the 90 forwarders with whom we cooperate.
At the international level we benefit from our long-standing cooperation with the Heavylift Group network (THLG). We’re honoured to currently hold the position of the network’s presidency.
What in your opinion are some of the major customer challenges you face these days?
We’re increasingly seeing the impact of pricing pressure, and there’s more emphasis on customer services. Our clients place great store by the fact that Kita was the first logistics enterprise in Turkey to receive ISO 9001 certification.