Maritime Traffic Flourishes in Izmit Gulf with 9,560 Cargo Ships Last Year

According to data from the Directorate General of Maritime Affairs, a total of 60,195 ships visited Turkish ports last year. Ports in the Izmit Gulf, falling under the jurisdiction of Kocaeli Port Authority, took the lead in this area with 9,560 ships.

Out of the ships arriving in Kocaeli, 2,875 were Turkish-flagged, and 6,685 were foreign-flagged, with a total weight of 170,789,000 gross tons.

While Aliağa Port Authority ranked second with 6,329 ships, ports in the Ambarlı Port Authority region secured the third position with 4,256 ships.

In terms of cargo handling, Aliağa Port Authority surpassed other regions by handling 81,355,615 tons of cargo last year. Kocaeli’s ports, despite slipping to the second position, managed to handle 81,291,544 tons of cargo. This translated to a daily cargo handling rate of 222,716 tons in Kocaeli.

Of the cargo handled in Kocaeli last year, 22,258,656 tons were attributed to exports, 46,622,671 tons to imports, and the remaining portion comprised coastal and transit cargos.

The ports in Izmit Gulf witnessed intense container traffic in 2023, with a total of 2,159,160 TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) being handled.

Development of Maritime Sector with New Infrastructure Investments in Kocaeli

Vedat Doğusel, President of the Kocaeli Branch of the Chamber of Shipping (İMEAK), Istanbul and Aegean, Mediterranean, Black Sea Regions, stated that Kocaeli is a maritime hub and highlighted the city’s continuous development in the sector with new infrastructure investments.

Doğusel emphasized that 85% of the cargo handled in Kocaeli is related to foreign trade, underscoring the city’s crucial role in both exports and imports.

Despite the challenges faced by all port cities, Doğusel expressed that 2023 was a prosperous year, with a total of 60,195 ships arriving in Turkey. Kocaeli ranked prominently with an average of 9,500 ships. He mentioned that 2,875 Turkish-flagged ships, mainly for coastal trade, and 6,685 foreign-flagged ships were hosted in the city.

Doğusel highlighted the need for adapting coastal structures, port facilities, railways, and roads to accommodate the sizes of modern ships, which have grown considerably. He stressed that having berths and ports capable of accommodating larger vessels is crucial, considering Turkey’s growing trade.

The President of the İMEAK Kocaeli Branch noted that larger ships are now arriving in Kocaeli, indicating that the city’s ports are expected to reach a handling capacity of 100 million tons in the near future due to increased production.

Doğusel praised the world-class service of the ports in Kocaeli, stating, “All ports in Turkey are very advanced in this regard. Kocaeli already has many exemplary companies. As trade in our country grows, it becomes even more important to have berths and ports that can accommodate larger ships in an environmentally friendly manner.”

In conclusion, he remarked that Kocaeli’s ports are operating at global standards and expressed confidence that the city’s ports will soon reach a handling capacity of 100 million tons, considering the growth in production and trade in the region.

source: / prepared by Melisa Beğiç

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