Rail Freight

Railway is slow and expensive in Turkey

Logistic professionals consider railway as slow, expensive and complex in Turkey.

We asked logistic profesionals “why they don’t prefer railway?”. The results give many clues about the rail logistics in Turkey.

More than 300 answers were gathered by survey. Here are the results:

why railway is not prefered

Why railway is not prefered?


About one third of the participants find railway slow. The average speed of trains is about 40 km/h in Turkey. With stops and transhipments, door2door transit times may reach to 3 days in short distances and 6 days in long distances.

In fact, trains may be even faster than trucks. The first freight train on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars had completed the 1300-km-long distance in 1.5 days.


12% of participants find railway expensive. Although railway seems cheaper, the total cost of transport including first and last miles and handling may exceed trucks.


11% of participants find railway expensive. Unlike truck and container dimensions known world-wide, there are many different wagons and dimensions in railway. Together with the transhipments and trucking to/from terminal, railway may be perceived as complex.

Other complaints about railway are “no door2door solution”, “too many handling”, “indefinite transit time” and “inflexibility”.

Solution: Intermodal

Almost all of the above complaints are covered by intermodal solutions on rail. Container trains are fast (4 days between Turkey and Germany), reliable and cheaper than trucks in some routes. The container and trailer trains, providing simple, fast and cheap door2door solutions become popular both in Turkey and world-wide.

Cover Photo: Onur Uysal ©

Categories: Rail Freight

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