Istanbul logistics region has a comparative and competitive advantage that could increase with promotion of the transport logistics cluster. As an advisory task force and a pivotal communication unit between business, research and the city administration, IMP BIMTAS has been introduced in Istanbul Metropolitan Planning and Urban Design Centre. Here, urban logistics infrastructure terminals, equipment and networks are dealt with. By these functions, a significant part of the structures within the spatial system of the city and the surrounding Marmara region are represented. 2023 Istanbul’s new master plan envisions new logistic zones close to part areas, a third airport, efficient Ro-Ro and Ro-La transportation in Marmara Sea, and with ongoing major transportation projects like Marmaray and Kars-Tiblisi-Baku railroad constructions, new highway and high-speed train projects like Istanbul-Izmir, Istanbul-Ankara. A major element is the constitution of a transport cluster related with logistics.
BIMTAS’s sub-unit Istanbul Metropolitan Planning and Urban Design Centre is providing service for all the local admini-strations and private sector supplying service for the local administrations in the country and abroad, at each branch and level of engineering, services such as feasibilities, studies and projects. One of the main tasks of the Istanbul Metropolitan Planning and Urban Design Centre is developing solutions for the transport and logistics issues like Transportation Master Plans. Main elements of the Master Plans are planning transportation networks and logistics networks.
Realizing these plans will be carried out with the collaboration of regional authorities, logistics service providers, companies and universities which provides scientific infrastructure.
In this context, BIMTAS has been developing the master plan for the city of Istanbul as a key actor joining the stakeholders from administration, research and economy. Research and technical developments, as well as controlling the implementation of the plan is conducted with the International Transporters’ Association of Turkey (1063 transport operator companies) and scientific support of universities.
Logistics research and education is growing in Turkey, meeting a strong demand of the rapidly developing logistics sector. In Istanbul, the Istanbul University and Technical University as well as the KOC University offer programmes and study paths covering a broad interdisciplinary range.
BIMTAS as urban expert center and advisory body, is a the one hand a pivotal communication and information actor, at the other hand a research hub coordinating applied research with national and international academic research including other regions in and around Turkey. Involvement in EU projects, research collaboration with European universities, project based collaboration with South East European, North West European, Northern American, Central and Northern African universities, companies, local authorities, public administrations.
With officially more than 12,5 million inhabitants living in 5,343 square kilometres, city of Istanbul is defined by the OECD as ‘big population magnet and emerging metropolitan economy’. By the year 2005, the city and provincial borders fixed and become NUTS1, NUTS2 and NUTS3 region with Turkey’s adaptation to EUROSTAT. Istanbul surpassing 127 countries with USD 133 billion yearly income according to PwC’s ‘The Largest City Economies in the World in 2005 and 2020’. Turkey’s 45 percent of national production, 36 per cent of exports and 40 per cent of imports pass through Istanbul. Together with its geographical region Marmara, Istanbul is also the logistics hub for all industrial and commercial activities mainly for construction, electronics, textile, iron-steel, chemicals, and automobile. The region itself is the major origin and destination for goods with the hinterland of all Turkey, and the transitional economies of the Black Sea region, SEE, former Soviet territories, Middle East, and Eastern Mediterranean regions as well as overseas.
The logistic nodes in Istanbul include; Organized Industrial Zones (8 of them located in Dudullu, İkitelli, Tuzla Deri, Tuzla OS, Tuzla Mermerciler, Tuzla Boya Vernik, Tuzla Kimya and Beylikduzu), Small Industrial Sites (113 of them include 35,000 businesses employs 150,000 people), Cargo Terminals (Topkapı Cargo Terminal includes 140 businesses employs around 1250 people and has a daily economic turnover of approximately USD 1.4 M), Food Terminals (Bayrampasa and Erenkoy are fruit and vegetable terminals, Rami and Mega Centre are dry food terminals, Yenikapı is seafood terminal, and average traffic is about 17,000 vehicles per diem), Customs Warehouses (424 customs warehouses under 16 Customs Offices), Storage of Chemical Products.
Potential for increased growth and competitiveness
Currently Turkey’s foreign trade volume is around USD 300 billion, and estimated two times higher in 15 years where the half of it is from Istanbul region. The proportion of logistics within that volume is nearly 10 per cent. One of the visionary components of Istanbul’s new master plan for the year 2023 envision new logistic zones, a third airport and enlargement of existing ports. Ongoing major transportation projects like Marmaray and Kars-Tiblisi-Baku railroad constructions, new highway projects the capacity of logistics activities will strengthen the regional competitiveness and increase economic growth. OECD’s Territorial Review and TINA reports indicate a regional economic growth centred at Istanbul. If the sustainable development principles adopted with the economic growth policies, then the sustainability of the overall economy will also contribute to the competitiveness with an integrated and inter-sectoral dimensions.