While Turkey has hit an all-time high in exports in 2019, the share of railway-related exports has also been steadily rising. In 2019, railway exports reached $967 million, marking a 33% rise year-on-year.
The development comes parallel with the objectives of the Export Master Plan, announced by the government in late August of last year, which looks to ensure a balanced structure in foreign trade and increase the share of rail transport in the logistics sector according to the ways of transport.
In this context, increasing the effectiveness of logistic services, the identification of alternative transportation routes and the founding of logistics centers in Turkey are among the issues that are highlighted. The works carried out are expected to contribute positively to Turkey's foreign trade.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data, in 2019, exports increased by 2.2% compared with the previous year under the general trade system, reaching nearly $180.72 billion.
During this period, a large portion of foreign trade was carried out by means of sea transportation. The share of exports by the sea in total neared 62%. It was followed by land transportation wherein 2019, 28.4% of exports were carried out by land, 8.4% by air and 0.6% by railroad.
The use of maritime transport in exports last year rose by 0.5% compared with $106 billion in 2018. Exports by land soared by 4.2% to $48.6 billion, while exports by air increased by 5% to $14.5 billion.
On the other hand, Turkey's imports fell by 9% to $202.7 billion in 2019. A total of 54.2% of imports were carried out by sea, 16.4% by land, 14.2% by air and 0.7% by railway.
In this period, imports by sea decreased by 17% to $109.8 billion, and imports by land fell by 6% to $33.2 billion. Despite this decline, imports by air rose by 1.2% to over $28.8 billion, while imports by railroad rose 15.8% to over $1.4 billion.
While Turkey's total foreign trade declined by 4% in 2019, foreign trade by railway surged by 22%.