The only Turkish train operator giving service to Europe, Balo, is getting prepared to run its own container trains between Turkey and Romania.
After separating from Rail Cargo, Balo stopped running its train and has continued as a “fordwarder” until now. Now the company is working on a new route -never tried before-, between Turkey and Romania. The first train is expected to depart in September.
The train will run between Cerkezkoy ile Curtici, with the target of 3 weekly trains in each direction.
The overland services between Romania and Turkey are very competetive. The offers of trucks for roundtrip service between Romania and Turkey may drop down to € 2000. On the other hand, trucks usually face problem especially in Bulgaria and cause long delays at Kapikule. We’ll soon see how competition will result.
Balo is expected to cooperate with IFB which recently suspended its service to Turkey and Gysev Cargo which is quite strong at Sopron and knows Turkish loads very closely. IFB was the company to propose Balo the Istanbul-Curtici train at the beginning of 2015. IFB has regular container trains between Curtici and Genk (Belgium). The subsidiary of Gysev Cargo, Amberrail, is very strong on North-South corridor and has connection to Curtici as well.
It’s interesting that Balo has chosen Cerkezkoy as the terminal in Turkey, instead of recently opened Halkali Terminal in Istanbul. The reason is probably the current client portfolio of Balo.
Except the car trains carrying Dacia, the only attemp on Romania-Turkey route was done by Transfesa-Schenker Arkas. The train -known as “France train”- was running through Romania combining the loads from/to there. However the connection to Turkey was mainly limited to Renault loads and ended this year.
Cover Photo: Balo ©