Throughout history, the Mediterranean has brought Europe, Africa and Asia together as a channel for goods and people. Containerships runs its own operations there based on the long commercial traditions of its outlet in Turkey.
Containerships’ vessels arrived in Mediterranean ports in 2009, when the company acquired the Turkish container carrier Contaz Line. Hakan Cevik, Division Director for the Mediterranean, is one of the experts who joined Containerships via the merger.
“I joined Contaz Line as far back as 1995. We had created long-standing connections between the Mediterranean and Northern Europe; in fact, we were the first Turkish operator to connect European and Turkish ports via direct routes.”
For Containerships, Turkey is now a key hub between three continents, and above all the gateway to the emerging markets of North Africa. Containerships has 50 employees in four offices in Turkey. The region’s largest office is in Istanbul, the others being located in Bursa, Izmir and Mersin.
“Our offices are strategically located around the country, enabling us to serve our customers in all of the main commercial areas of Turkey,” says Cevik.
“We operate three container ships from Turkey, mainly headed for ports in Libya, Tunisia and Algeria. Most of the cargo consists of exports from Turkey, but some goods are also carried between our African destination countries, and from Tunisia back to Turkey. However, because North Africa has little industrial production, only 15% of the containers return to Turkey fully loaded. Instead, North Africa’s purchasing power, and thirst for imported goods, is based on natural resources.”