Interview of the month : GENEL TRANSPORT TURKEY

Michael Sales spoke to Turgut Erkeskin President & CEO of Turkish forwarder, GENEL TRANSPORT, about the expanding Turkish economy, his company’s great 2018 and future plans.

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This week Michael Sales from World Cargo Vision team interviews Mr Turgut Erkeskin, President & CEO of Turkish forwarder, Genel Transport.

Turkey’s economy and exports are expanding. Is Genel’s performance in step with this?

“In 2017 Turkish export volume had already reached close to USD 170 billion. This is a landmark in our foreign trade history. The EU Region is taking the greatest share. Today Genel Transport follows the same pattern as the Turkish export profile. We are proud to say that we are one of the few Turkish Freight Forwarders servicing over 300 destinations around the world. In fact, every region is important to us”.

“We are proud to say that we are one of the few Turkish Freight Forwarders servicing over 300 destinations around the world. In fact, every region is important to us”.

As a multi-modal forwarder, what percentage of your traffic (by value) is air freight?

“Indeed we offer all transport services to our clients in Turkey and overseas. Air / Ocean / Road and Intermodal. Air and Ocean together takes almost 70 percent of our overall volume and air freight activities 34%”.

As a multi-modal forwarder, what percentage of your traffic (by value) is air freight?

“Indeed we offer all transport services to our clients in Turkey and overseas. Air / Ocean / Road and Intermodal. Air and Ocean together takes almost 70 percent of our overall volume and air freight activities 34%”.

Is there any particular product group in which you specialize?

“Having been established 30 years ago in 1988, we have developed an excellent, well experienced professional team. The expertise and the knowledge we have built in time and by the market dynamics, we have specialized in certain industries and product segments. We are proud to say that today GENEL TRANSPORT offers dedicated logistics services to

“Having been established 30 years ago in 1988, we have developed an excellent, well experienced professional team. The expertise and the knowledge we have built in time and by the market dynamics, we have specialized in certain industries and product segments. We are proud to say that today GENEL TRANSPORT offers dedicated logistics services to Aerospace & AOG, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Life Science Industries, Garments, Marine Spare Parts, Live Animals and Heavy Lift & Project Cargo.”

Although you are based in Turkey, are you a global forwarder?

“Yes We can certainly claim that. We are working in a very competitive market place. Competition is not only in our industry but our clients define their strategies based on the competitiveness of their supply chains. Now that Turkey has become a global player, our clients are in need of diversified and wide spread services all around the world. We have to be able to offer them competitive services worldwide which is only possible if you know the dynamics of supply chains in each part of the world and you can maintain your position by being a global forwarder. Today being global does not only mean that you should have your own offices but you can reach such position by creating a strong and professional agent network which acts on your behalf meeting your business requirements and ethics.”

How effectively can you compete with the top 20 big companies?

“It is no secret that they have great buying power and at first sight they look well established all around the world. However, when you go into operation one can realize that they are not as effective as the small to medium sized companies. Yet there are always local heroes with better buying power and operational qualities. The secret is getting connected with them and create your own independent network”.

You recently won the Atlas logistics award. What was your winning secret and what is your unique advantage?

“I can claim that our unique advantage is our knowledge. We believe at Genel Transport that knowledge is the key to success. When this is combined with our 30 years of experience, financial stability and strong presence in both Turkey and worldwide, we are one step ahead of the competition. This is why we qualified for Atlas Award for the 2nd time in 2018. I should also add that another important success factor is our personnel.

“ We have well trained, experienced and passionate team members who do everything to offer best service to our clients while maintaining excellent relations with our carriers and agents”.

What would you say are the main challenges facing the airfreight industry today, for example, is it technology, Amazon or rising costs. What do you think is the best way forward?

“There are number of challenges. Probably digitalization is the main one. Pressure is high but there is a long way to go. Take for instance the e-AWB. I am afraid that our industry is not yet where it has to be. We are just taking baby steps so far and we should have already implemented blockchain applications into our industry. E-commerce logistics is another challenge that we the freight forwarders are facing. We see a great shift from integrators to freight forwarders. We need to develop our muscles to take our part in this segment. Online freight platforms is another trend and yet another challenge to face”.

Does ocean freight face the same challenges?

“Certainly yes, this trend is valid for the entire logistics spectrum regardless the mode, product group and the region”.

What benefits does NAP membership bring you?

“NAP is just our DNA. It is a tool, a platform that empowers us in everyway in air freight segment. First and foremost, it helps us develop our worldwide coverage and agency network with like-minded professional and dependable agents. As mentioned earlier this is how we become a true global player. NAP offers us a range of tools as well. It provides volume
incentives from major airlines, buying powers and special rates in different routes with various carriers, it tools, payment protection, rate engines and everything that you need while you conduct your day to day business. Having been armed with all these tools, enables you to concentrate on your client and market demands as well as business development”.