Rail Freight

Tekirdag to connect Balkans to World


Tekirdag, one of the main ports of container vessels at Marmara Sea, has stepped forward in strengthening its connections to Balkan region.

Asyaport, located at Tekirdag, is one of the leading container ports in Turkey with capabiliy of accepting biggest container vessels. The port took a critical step for creating a new connection to Balkan region where it has an important share. The first train departed from Tekirdag last Friday carrying transit loads to Bulgaria.

Asyaport is the main port of MSC in Marmara Sea. Handling 1.36 mn TEU of containers in 2019, port has the 3rd highest volume among Turkish container ports. Over 1 mn TEU is transit loads, one third of all in Turkey, which takes the port to the top of the transit list. Asyaport aims to increase its position in transit loads with rail connections to Balkan region.

The first train has departed last Friday from MedLog’s container terminal at Tekirdag towards Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The train departed at 18:00 on 13th of November, carrying containers and also semi trailers. Traction was done by TCDDT in Turkey and Pimk in Bulgaria. Train arrived Plovdiv at 10:00 next day. A couple of trial trains are planned until end of year, and regular service is planned to start by the beginning of next year.

Currently, containers of Balkan countries are transhipped to feeders at Asyaport and sent to Bulgarian and Romanian ports. Rail connection provides faster and cheaper transport to those regions. With support of rail connections, Asyaport aims to be the main port for those countries.

The competitiors for this target are quite strong. Piraeus Port in Greece has become in top 100 in the World with 5 mn TEU after being sold to COSCO in 2016. Thessaloniki Port, which was privatized in 2018 is another rival. Currently a consortium of German companies, CMA CGM and CMHI is operating the port.

Cover photo: Asyaport ©

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