Costanta-Istanbul ro-ro trips launched
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency‘An increase in ro-ro transportation will ease difficulties we face in transport to western destinations,’ says UN Ro-Ro’s chief executive officer Sedat Gümüşoğlu.
UN Ro-Ro launched trips to Romania’s Costanta from Istanbul’s Pendik port with a ceremony on Dec. 9.
The roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro), ferry lines between the two cities are environmentally friendly, economical and superior to others, Turkish Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım said at the event.
“Turkey’s foreign trade is being conducted mostly via sea routes. Transportation by road and railways follow maritime trade,” Yıldırım said.
Three days a week
There will be three scheduled trips between Pendik and Constanta in a week, UN Ro-Ro Chief Executive Officer Sedat Gümüşoğlu said at the inauguration ceremony.
“We have a capacity to carry 30,000 vehicles a year between Pendik and Constanta. The Ro-Ro trips between Pendik and Constanta will bring down costs for Turkish exporters,” Gümüşoğlu said.
“An increase in ro-ro transportation will ease difficulties we face in transport to western destinations,” the executive said, referring to ro-ro transportation as a “highway on the sea.”
Ro-ro ships are big are vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo such as cars, trucks and railroad cars driven on and off the ship on their own wheels.
UN Ro-Ro was established as a joint venture by international transport companies in 1994. It aims to provide an alternative mode of transport to the land route where Turkish transport companies have faced many difficulties especially in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans, according to executives.
Throughout the years, UN Ro-Ro transformed into a group of companies with 200 international transport companies as partners who financed the company and helped UN Ro-Ro expand its fleet.
In December 2007, UN Ro-Ro’s and its subsidiary companies’ majority shares and management were transferred to an international investment fund, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts (KKR).
After December 2007, UN Ro-Ro continued to grow with KKR and expanded its fleet to 13 Ro-Ro vessels, and it continues to support international transport companies, as well as importers and exporters in Turkey and in the region.