Back to The Future
It was 2002 that we first welcomed the FIATA World Congress in Istanbul. All our memories are fresh and the event is still recognized as one of the best FIATA gatherings.
At the time “Freight Logistics” was rather a new concept for us in Turkey. Our association UTIKAD had taken the mission to cultivate the culture of logistics in our country. Together with our members, we were discussing logistics on every platform, our discussions were centered around what it really describes, how we would integrate logistics into our business transactions to eliminate bottle-necks in connectivity and to improve the costs of any single element within the total supply chain.
There was a substantial reason behind these discussions; it was the macroeconomic target to develop the country by integrating its economy to the world, to enjoy the benefits of globalization and to increase the overall production and foreign trade. Turkey with its geo-strategic location had also the potential to become a hub of Eurasia, where the most East of West and the most West of East shake hands.
Such goals could not have been achieved unless a well-designed and good functioning logistics infrastructure was in place.
Today freight logistics is the integral part of sustainable development and growth all over the world. Logistics being an energizer for development, the growth of logistics itself should also be sustained to meet the demand. The growth of global production and speed of urbanization created the demand for more investments and capacities in logistics. We need more roads, more railways, airports, bridges, ports and logistics centers. We should create new and additional trade routes by developing environmental consciousness which can be achieved by a modal shift from road to rail and short-sea shipping. Quality of human resources in our industry should also be increased parallel to these changes.
All these dynamics lead us to the ultimate goal of our industry: “Sustainable Growth in Logistics”
This is our motto for 2014 FIATA World Congress in ISTANBUL.
From this perspective of sustainable logistics, Turkey today offers the role of a ‘laboratory’.
Initial start-up point can be summarised as “logistics being the most strategic sector” for our growth and well-fare. With many infra-structural projects under operation we are building new roads, bridges, airports, sea-ports, railways and logistics hubs. Istanbul’s Bosphorus Straits will have a 3rd bridge, now under construction which will be offering both road and rail carriage. Europe and Asia is now also linked by a tunnel rail system going under the Bosphorus enabling direct rail connection between London and Shanghai. A 3rd airport in Istanbul with 6 runways will go in operation by 2016.
Besides the infra-structure, the quality standards of our industry should be increased as well. Education and formation is the only way to achieve the goals. Today in Turkey we have over fifty schools and universities with logistics programs. UTIKAD proudly introduced seven books and a dictionary, all widely used in both commercial and academic sectors acting as reference guides in schools and companies.
ISTANBUL is not just business, nor merely an interesting place to discuss logistics. It is a cradle of civilizations, a joint historical capital of the Romans, the Byzantines and the Ottomans, an exciting concurrence of all beliefs.
You are all cordially invited to Istanbul, popularly regarded as one of the most fascinating cities of the world with its history, culture and gusto.
Please do come with your families and friends to discover what Istanbul will offer you in business and culture.
We will build our future together!