Published On: Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015

Transporters Worried about Egypt’s Decision Not to Renew Ro-Ro Deal with Turkey

"This will hit us as well as Turkey’s exports.”

Turkish boat

Turkey’s habit of picking fights with its former allies is o longer limited to Israel. Since the change in government in Egypt, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been attacking the country’s new rulers, whom he accuses of being illegitimate.

Now it appears the Turkish economy will pay a heavy price for the resulting ill will.

Turkish transporters are worried about Egypt’s decision not to renew the sea and land transit transportation agreement for roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) ships with Turkey, State-run Anadolu Agency reported. The current deal will expire on April 23.

Ro-Ro) vessels are designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as automobiles, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars, that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle.

Transporters in Turkey’s south have faced mounting problems, particularly after the closing of the Cilvegözü Border Gate between Turkey and Syria, said Yusuf Hatay, the head of private transportation company Hatay Ro-Ro, which was established by 55 transportation firms in the region.

As a result, the transportation of Ro-Ro ships from Turkey’s Mersin port to a number of Egypt’s ports became a viable alternative route, in order to bypass conflict-ridden lands to Turkey’s south, Hatay added.

Hatay Ro-Ro started with one shipment a week, before doubling the shipments with a 100 percent occupancy rate, Hatay noted.

“The Egyptian authorities had earlier announced that they would not renew the deal. This will hit us as well as Turkey’s exports, ” Hatay stated.

Signed in March 2012, the agreement allows the use of Egyptian seaports for the transport of Turkish foodstuffs, electrical appliances and textile products to markets in the Gulf.

Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci denied last year that the Egyptian government’s move not to renew its trade deal with Turkey would hurt Turkey’s exports.

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