Turkey has always been a strong partner for UK business with trade in 2018 estimated at around $18.5 billion, with Ankara exporting $11.1 billion to the UK and receiving $7.4 billion in imports. This represented an increase on imports of 13.7% and 15.7% on exports against the previous year. English is increasingly used for business and Turkey has adopted European business ethics and modern management practices.
In fact Turkey was already ranked in the top 30 countries in terms of ease of doing business by World Bank and has a rapidly developing and increasingly sophisticated market, with a growing middle class and young population estimated to hit 87 million by 2023. There are estimated to be around 400,000 Turkish people living in the UK today so the synergies for trade are clear to see.
As Brexit looms ever closer talks have been ongoing as the UK & Turkey have worked hard to protect their relationship and business interests when the UK leaves the European Union on the 31st December this year.
Updates circulated in the Financial Times early this month have suggested a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is very close to being signed. Ankara has believed to have set a post – Brexit bilateral trade target of $20 billion which will be well received particularly by the Turkish manufacturers of cars, textiles & white goods, along with the 2,500+ UK companies already operating in Turkey, the likes of Vodafone, GlaxoSmithKline, BP, Marks & Spencer, HSBC, Unilever & BAE Systems.
Of course as Turkey are part of the EU customs union any FTA could only be implemented once the UK has reached agreement itself with the EU which hopefully will be a trade deal in the coming weeks.
John Good Logistics have been operating in Turkey since 2005 when they opened their first office having seen the opportunities for growth. Trading as John Good Denizcilik the group now has 2 offices located in Istanbul & Izmir and employs 12 staff across the sites.
As well as general forwarding & logistics activities including, Sea, Air & Road, John Good Logistics has been successful in developing a weekly, direct Sea Freight consol service between Turkey & the UK. The service has been in operation for 13 years, originally operating from Istanbul but in recent years the service has developed, to now include Izmir.
It has been a great success story for the group but we are not sitting still. We are anticipating further growth on this trade post COVID. Not only are relations strong and negotiations in advance stages in terms of the FTA, there is also consideration in terms of lead time and turn around. We fully expect businesses to re address their supply chains and reduce their reliance on China & the Far East in general following the massive disruptions many businesses experienced through COVID. We feel Turkey presents the ideal opportunity. Competitively priced with significant time saving in terms of door to door moves, on average you would be looking at 3-4 week saving on transit, dependant on origin points which means importers can see massive efficiency gains from order through to delivery. Another advantage is the reduction in carbon footprint, we know this is increasingly part of planning particularly for the bigger companies and again Turkey fairs well when making the comparison against the Far East.
One of the key routes into the UK from Turkey has always been road however there are fears of widespread disruption post Brexit with dover handling around 10,000 trailers per day and facing potential disruption due to increased customs controls. Some recent estimates have suggesting queues of 15-20 miles at Dover / Calais based on additional 2 minutes dwell time per truck at the border.
John Good Logistics sea freight services from Istanbul and Izmir offer fast transit times of around eight days, shipping by sea from Turkey is usually suitable for most needs and offers an excellent alternative to road transport coupled with significant reductions in freight costs for dense cargo in particular and again reduced carbon footprint compared with the traditional 3000 kilometre journey by road.
Other key advantages include…
- Cost Savings
- Reliable & Fixed Transit Times to UK
- Cargo Safety
- Environmentally Friendly
- Fixed Schedules: ability to pre-book delivery slots over a week in advance
With a dedicated team of experienced professionals in Turkey & the UK including Turkish speaking staff, we offer in-depth, specialist knowledge of the market, including business practice, and are fully informed about the latest developments which may influence trade & development.
Paul Ferguson, Sales Director, John Good Logistics