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Twinned with Spain, Turkey Runs a Strong Future in Intermodal Transport
With the Project, which has been jointly implemented by Turkish Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ministry and Spanish Ministry of Transport and Public Works, almost determines the future direction of Turkish intermodal transport. In the scope of the Project, which has a budget of 1 mln Euros, an intermodal transportation legislation – compatible with the EU legislation-, and a Strategy Document are aimed to be prepared. As Turkey and Spain are twinned within this project, Spain’s intermodal transportation system will be examined as a ‘case study’ by Turkey.
Among the important names of this project, the EU Twinning Project ‘Strengthening Intermodal Transport in Turkey’, Pablo Rodenas, the Resident Twinning Advisor, tells us the details of the project and how it will contribute to Turkish intermodal transportation system. Pablo Rodenas indicates that the main objective of the project is creation of a more balanced intermodal transport system and he adds that the execution period of the project is 27 months. As Rodenas mentions this period was started by 20.10.2011 and it is planned to be ended up on October-November 2013.
“Awareness on the importance of strengthening intermodal transport has been increased among the personnel from public and private institutions that are ready to take responsibility on these issues in Turkey thanks to the project training activities,” says Rodenas and adds, “Again thanks to the project, related institutions in Turkey are becoming aware of the good and bad practices of Spain and other EU member states, realizing better the needs and requirements on the process of improvement of the sector, such as coordination between actors, the need of accurate sources of information, and so on.”
An other name who gives information about this project to UTA Lojistik Magazine is Bilge Filiz, the Vice Resident Twinning Advisor. Bilge Filiz emphasizes that the project contributes to adapt Turkish transport legislation to EU transport legislation, not only by one mode but by the help of effectively integrated transportation modes.
Here are the main topics and some important details underlined by Pablo Rodenas, the Resident Twinning Advisor of the project.
Would you please give information regarding the objective and goals of EU Twinning Project ‘Strengthening Intermodal Transport in Turkey’?
First of all, it is better to clarify what twinning programme is and how twinning projects work. Twinning is an initiative of the EU that was launched in 1998 in order to strengthen administrative and judicial capacity of candidate countries to implement EU legislation as future Member States of the EU. Thus, the member states and candidate countries exchange experiences, problems and eventual solutions and jointly develop and implement a project that may target strengthening the administrative capacity of the Beneficiary Country or enhanced co-operation in line with EU policies. Therefore, in this project, making investments for strengthening intermodal transport in Turkey is in the hands of Turkey. Member State, in this case Spain, can just recommend but can not determine where and how to invest through the project.
In brief, this project ‘Strengthening Intermodal Transport in Turkey’ is a further step in implementation of the land transport strategy for EU accession that was an another key study financed by EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession. Therefore, the project aims to achieve a more balanced transport system by increasing the share of other transport modes rather than road transport as well as their combination (as combined/Intermodal transport) and to prepare Intermodal Transport Regulation in parallel to strengthening the institutional capacity of Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications and relevant institutions responsible for implementing combined/intermodal transport related legislation.
The activities of the project are implemented under three components:
The objective of the activities in Component 1, Training of the personnel of the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, is to transfer knowledge on best intermodality practices of Spain to high level officials through two study visits in Spain; to organize specific training on technical intermodal transport issues at relevant institutions of Spain to selected staff through internships in Spain and; to provide broad training and transfer of knowledge on all related issues of intermodal transport by nine training seminars. We almost have finished the activities under this component successfully. In total, 280 personnel from public and private institutions that are ready to take responsibility on improving intermodality in Turkey are trained on crucial and core issues thanks to the project training activities.
Component 2, Preparation of intermodal legislation, aims at assessing the legal needs within the Ministry of Transport, transferring knowledge on best European Union practices on intermodal transport legislation as well as consultation with private stakeholders on the future Turkish intermodal transport legislation through a series of 10 workshops, in order to prepare a final draft on intermodal transport legislation. Until now, these workshops are generating a fruitful platform for the discussion of Turkish Intermodal issues and for drawing theoretical framework for this legislation.
Finally, under Component 3, Preparation of Intermodal Transport Strategy, the activities of the project will focus on consultation with private stakeholders on the future Turkish Intermodal Transport Strategy and the preparation of a final draft on which Intermodal Transport Strategy Turkey should follow in the medium and long term.
What kind of progress has been achieved at the present stage of the EU Twinning Project “Strengthening of Intermodal Transport in Turkey”? How will this project contribute to the improvement of intermodal transport system in Turkey?
As I mentioned before, awareness on the importance of strengthening intermodal transport has been increased among the personnel from public and private institutions that are ready to take responsibility on these issues in Turkey thanks to the project training activities. Again thanks to the project, related institutions in Turkey are becoming aware of the good and bad practices of Spain and other EU member states, realizing better the needs and requirements on the process of improvement of the sector, such as coordination between actors, the need of accurate sources of information, and so on.
To date, suggestions and experiences of EU Member states were transmitted on key issues of intermodal transport like the availability of different tools to facilitate intermodal transport such as the use of ITS, PPP and EU funding sources, the transport observatories (intermodal, short sea shipping), Port Community Systems, customs single window or the convenience of integration on international transport networks (TEN-T, TRACECA). The interest raised by these activities is obvious keeping in mind that the original target was to train 100 personnel, and the final number will be over 300.
The preparation of draft legislation on intermodal transport in line with the several EU Directives to promote intermodal transport has been initiated with our project. Taking into account the institutional change of Ministry of Transport; as known, several Directorate Generals such as Directorate General of Dangerous Goods and Combined Transport Regulation; DG of Railways Regulation; DG of Maritime Trade …etc. have been newly created and recently they are formulating their regulations. Project team gives suggestions, shares the experiences from EU member states on distribution of authority on intermodal transport sector that requires efficient coordination among not only these institutions but also with private sector stakeholders.
In which regions, projects are specifically needed in terms of intermodal transport for Turkey to strengthen its position in the transport and logistics sector in the world?
First of all, location of Turkey, as being a bridge between Europe and Middle East, Caucasus, Asia; and the high rate of economic growth provide high potential for Turkey to improve efficient transport systems. On the other hand, the instability of the Southern and Easter countries bordering Turkey complicate the mid and long term planification.
Turkey is 18th largest economy in the world but 27th in the world ranking on Logistics Performance Index and there is a consensus in Turkey that one of the reasons of this contradiction is lack of efficient infrastructure.
However, we appreciate plenty of operations going on to change this situation. For instance, similar to Madrid Dry Port, Logistic Center Project in Ankara is a successful project both for transport and forwarding sector.
In terms of the location of logistic centers/intermodal nodes, any plan shall be designed taking into account the development of intermodal corridors integrated on international transport networks. Furthermore, this planning will require accurate information on transport flows in order to offer efficient management and competitive services adequate to the existing demand. In general, a country like Turkey shouldn’t need many intermodal logistic terminals, but just a very few strategically located.
How do you view the future of intermodal in the transport systems and what are the advantages it presents? Are the firms required to present solutions in the field of intermodal transportations in order to grow in the logistics sector?
Intermodal transport shouldn’t be a goal in itself, I mean, just using more than one mode of transport on a transport chain, but it should be a tool to develop a more sustainable, environment-friendly, safer and cheaper transport system. This idea basically implies creating seamless transport chains where the most efficient transport mode, in terms of costs (internal and external) and time, are use on each step.
The development of this transport chains will be very slow. It requires a lot of coordination among all players involved in transport, the development of efficient intermodal terminals as well as a reliable framework that users could trust. However, once are in place internal costs of transport will be reduced and what it is most important, and normally forgotten, also the external costs of transport: road bottlenecks will improve (reducing as well noise, pollution and health problems), also with less ton/kilometer transport by road, accidents will be also reduced, maintenance cost of infrastructures should be reduced (on road normally are not charged to users), etc.
In this scenario, the role of transport providers on the door-to-door service demanded nowadays in globalized economies obviously requires a more complex approach than just the delivery of freight. The efficient management of traffic flows and the combination of the most cost-effective modes on the chain will require the improvement of the logistic capacities of transport companies. Therefore, both transport and logistics operators will have to work together if their objective is to operate efficient and effective hubs.
Things you would like to add?
Thank you very much for giving place to our project. We are very pleased to share our experience with responsible authorities of this sector, and you can find more information about our project in the website: http://twinningintermodal.ubak.gov.tr/