The number of trucks carried via sea freight to Ukraine from Turkey's ports of clearances in the province of Zonguldak decreased by 50 percent last year when compared to 2013 due to the Crimean crisis and clashes in Ukraine. The clashes between the pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine and the Ukrainian government and the Crimean crisis adversely affected the ro-ro deliveries from Zonguldak to Ukrainian ports including Sevastopol and Yevpatoria.
This year, the figures were the lowest of all time in terms of ro-ro transport, as the number of trucks arriving at Zonguldak's ports decreased from 19,317 to 9,519 and the number of trucks departing decreased from 21,185 to 9,370, thus decreasing the province's general import and export activities by $15.8 million and exports by $5.7 million, respectively, at its ports.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, ceramics, sanitary ware and dry bulk trailers are mostly exported from Zonguldak to Ukraine, while timber and wood, anthracite, manganese and steel rolls are mainly imported to the province. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Hasan Tahsin Karaer, an owner of a shipping agency, stressed that ro-ro transport in Turkey has taken a heavy blow from the crisis in Ukraine and ports were fully empty in some months of last year.
"The crisis between Russia and Ukraine scared tradesmen, as many are afraid to cross over to that side. There are also problems with money transfers and payments, and exporters are unable to deliver their goods without getting paid. Especially the transportation of citrus fruits has came to a halt," Karaer said.