Turkey will move the identity of transfer hub to a higher level
Alkın Kalkavan the CEO of Turkon Line, evaluates the 2018 developments in terms of Turkon Line and the sector, and shares his expectations of 2019. 
Kalkavan explaining  that they can easily estimate, the importer and the exporter's loading balance with Container transportation, said “In terms of exports, 2018 exceeded expectations. It was a year all the market players  were able to perform a full loading. In the meantime,  importers experienced difficult times. Loading factors in exportation increased by 30-40 percent, while a same proportion of reduction in importation was the case..” 

Kalkavan expressed that decline in Turkey's current account deficit was the best progression  where the coverage ratio of exports to imports has risen and expected that trend to continue in 2019.
Kalkavan referring to developments in the global container sector, such as the rise in the dollar currency, trade wars, Brexit and geopolitical risks occupying  the agenda last year stated
‘Turkey positively differentiated from these developments in the world. Turkish people are  very hard-working and long-suffering. In spite of the currency risks, high interest rates and political risks, Turkey showed an incredible performance and met China’s deficit to the west on certain types of goods. Major sectors received more exports as a result of the trade wars and exchange rates.This reflected us positively.  
At the moment, global datas are showing some cool down in economic activity. In Turkey, the economic activity rate will fall slightly, but I think this fall will  be less  compared to other countries,Turkey will stand out. Turkey will take share of the exportation in the setting of trade war environment especially from  China and far east countries to t
he west. We trust the Turkey Brand. I think as of second half 2019  Turkey will come through this period with minimum damage and stand out to be a  very powerful economic player. 
“Our main goal for 2019 is to maintain  our current position”
Alkın Kalkavan stating  Turkon Line’s  current operation at 46 ports in 26 countries, said
"We do not intend to increase the number of ports in 2019, our main goal is to maintain our current position." 
Kalkavan indicated the expectation of the growth in container volumes in 2018 to  be % 4-5  in the world and around % 7-8  in Turkey.
Kalkavan pointing  out the container market's last 10-year growth average of 8.3 percent in Turkey, 2.4 percent in European countries and 4.4 percent in the World, said  ‘In addition to Europe and the Far East with a share reaching 50 percent, the Turkish container transportation, mainly handling our exports to the Middle East and North America, has recently been in a rapid growth.. Should  some arrangements to be made in the relevant customs practices, Turkey will move the identity of transfer hub to a much higher level. 
Kalkavan underlining their sector’s procurance to keep freight of both importer and exporter in Turkey, continued,
‘The import and export companies carrying goods with Turkon Line kept their freight of 4-5 billion dollar in Turkey over the last 20 years.  Increasing number of Turkish companies in the container sector will increase the level of competitiveness of companies engaged in importation and exportation. We have to provide a competitive environment to importation  and exportation companies. Turkish companies are trying to support this as much as they could. We are trying to create a Turkish global brand in the World.’ 

‘Transition to low sulphirous fuel is candidate to be in the  financial agenda of 2019’
Kalkavan stating  the serious change at container transport sector in the last 5 years said   “purchases and consortium formations have gained momentum. We've witnessed a constant change of controls and  the down fall of major companies. The top 5 lines were controlling 27 per cent of the market in 1997, while currently that is 65 per cent. Other players are trying to hold on or being acquired by the big players. ‘  
Kalkavan said that the sector has fought the low freight policy for years but the most important issue  is fuel.
Kalkavan indicated that, as of 2020, it will be started to use the low sulphur fuel application in the sector, and continued;
‘Scrubber is stuck on the ships to avoid low Sulphur fuel. If you don't have this, you'll have to use the low sulphur. Currently, 5 per cent of the ships in the world are trying to integrate this equipment into their ships, but 95 percent still isn't ready for this passage. It's only a short time until 2020, it's impossible to make this transition.  An increase in fuel is expected in the implementation of the transition.  How this increase will be reflected in the entire maritime market is important. The transition to low sulphur fuel is a candidate to be in the financial agenda of 2019. Now the entire maritime market is observing this.’
Kalkavan expressing their study for the transition to low Sulphur fuel,said  ‘We're doing research to have scrubber to our ships. On the other hand, this technology is constantly evolving, we want to capture technology that will fix the current need instead of investing early. Therefore we're following where the technology is going, and we are looking to get this equipment on our ships earliest.’ 
‘At the moment hardest craft is to reach the money’
Alkın Kalkavan indicating the close follow up of digitization by the maritime sector likewise all other sectors said that many lines accelerated their work on this issue.  Emphasizing that digitalization is expected to be one of the important parameters determining the sector's medium and long-term future, Kalkavan continued  ‘We're investing in blockchain technology.  As far as we can, we follow the market and provide systematic infrastructure to our companies, and we try to attract them to the global corporate level through digitization. We invest a lot in this matter.’ 
Kalkavan, expressing defining agenda of the sector to be fuel costs, digitization, container logistics, freight levels, completed the conversation by saying 
‘Specific to Turkey, exchange rate impact for 2019 and shrink in the domestic market causes increase of exportation, but the expectations reflects this will be limited due to the cooling down of global trade. For importation, the shrink of 2018 last quarter is assumed to be continued.   Our state, our government, is doing its best. We can't thank them enough here. My expectation is that the first half of 2019 will be more troublesome, and the second half would be better. We begin to see the precise signs of recovery in 2020.
Liquidity problem unfortunately exists in the World. Actually, there's money. Now it seems to be the return of money to the rmain center of the capital by the great capital holders in the world. This is a break… After this break, in 2020, I think the money again will be transferred to emerging markets and Turkey.  Banks are doing their best under these circumstances. Because of the lack of liquidity, hardest craft at the moment, is to reach the money, but it will soon be overcame "
Source: https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/ekonomi/turkiye-aktarma-merkezi-huviyetini-daha-ust-seviyelere-tasiyacak/1363998