Idea to carry semi trailers on rail is not new. However, there has been a rapid growth especially with the trailer train services from Trieste connected to Roro services.
And this year, for the first time, trailer trains started service directly from Turkey. Ulusoy Logistics is the company to start this service, thus we talked with Mr Sevgin Mutlu, the Road Deputy Manager of Ulusoy Logistics.
Why did you focus on departures from Turkey, although your competitors prefered RoRo + train solution?
It’s true that there has been a growth in traffic through Trieste with connected RoRo services. However we prefered providing a new product and minimizing the delays between modes as well.
How did the idea arouse?
There was a swap body service from Turkey years ago which was not very successful. We examined that system, worked on necessary improvements. Thus, with the leadership of our General Manager, we were able to satisfy our clients’ demand of having environment-friendly transport.
How long it takes to get ready?
The idea was old. However, after the final decision, it took only 4 months to complete all preparations and be ready for the first departure.
What did you invest in?
We bought 250 Hugopack semi-trailers and about 500 mega containers. Pocket wagons were provided by our partner in this project, DB Schenker.
How do you organize trucking in Europe and Turkey?
Trucking is done by our fleet in Turkey. In Europe, we have various solutions depending on the destination. We use our own fleet in some countries where we work with European suppliers in some others due to regulations in those countries.
What’s the transit time? And frequency?
Best time was 4.5 days. 5.5 days in average. We have two departures in both directions.
Any difficulties you faced?
We had problems with customs in first transportation. Trailers on trains were not defined in customs electronic system. It took very long time to complete. But it’s defined now, and we can cross the border very fast.
Any problems like theft, delays etc?
We never faced with theft problem since the beginning. There was a 10 days of closure due to flood in Bulgaria. During that time, we brought our trucks over land from Romania to Turkey, and loaded onto wagons in Romania for exports. We acted proactive at that time and not caused any delay for our clients. Nothing important happened other than this.
How was your clients’ reactions?
There were some hesitations at the beginning. But by time and after seeing the KPI reports, they changed their mind, and demand is growing day by day. By bringing trailers on trains along 2400 km route, we both minimize the carbon emission and 25% saving in transportation cost.
Will you have new investments in railway?
We’ll continue to invest in railways. We had started with one weekly departure, now reached to two. We are planning to increase the departures to three by January 2015. We are working on new routes.
What do you think of liberalization of railway transportation in Turkey?
We hope that investments in railways will increase. Thus, the usage of railway will incresae in Turkey.
Cover Photo: Ulusoy ©
Interview: Onur Uysal