Trains that has developed Kayseri industry and Mersin Port is now losing power.
Mersin Port has one of the best rail rail connections among Turkish ports. Industries in Kayseri had been taking advantage of this cheap, safe and stable connection with regular daily trains to Mersin. However, they seem to be shifting to trucks. The volume is about 100k containers/year. Trucks having 10-20% share from this traffic has started getting upto 50% nowadays.
Though trucks are more expensive than train by 90-100 USD/container, they started to be prefered more due to delays of trains when entering the port. Transit time from Kayseri to Mersin is around 8 hours, where entering to port may last upto 60 hours. When containers miss the vessel, they do not only miss the order deadline, but also pay storage cost. Railway staff says that there are currently 500 containers in stations around Mersin Port waiting to enter the port.
“When we use train, it took 2-3 days to enter port. We frequently miss the vessel. Our biggest advantage is speed, but we’re losing it. We used to load containers during night at Kayseri, and enter port the following afternoon. The transit time of trains and trucks are almost same. However trucks are entering port as they reach, where trains wait 2-3 days. Now we pay TL 500 more and use trucks.”
Problems are explained with the fast growth of port beyond their expactation. More Turkish companies have focused on exports in last period. Cities like Kayseri, Gaziantep and Konya are using Mersin Port. After opening of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, loads of Caucalus also started using Mersin Port.
Kayseri-Mersin rail connection had become one of the most effective railway solutions in Turkey with Kayseri Industrial Zone, a railway terminal next to it, effective terminal operator, 4 trains/day in each direction, back storage area of port at Yenice, effective rail connection to port and port authority giving importance to railway. If precautions not taken, Kayseri may lose this advantage.
Cover photo: Akyapı ©
Categories: Rail Freight