Turkey’s fast-growing Ro-Ro firm Alternative Transport has secured a EUR 27.5 million loan (USD 31.6 million) to finance the acquisition of a new roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) cargo ship.
Alternative Transport is investing in a new EUR 55.5 million-vessel, Meleq, with a capacity of 283 trailers to carry wheeled cargo such as cars, trucks, trailers or railroad cars that are driven on and off the vessel.
The new cargo ship will enable the firm’s much-needed expansion on the route connecting the Istanbul port of Haydarpasa and the north-eastern Italian port city of Trieste, increasing profitability and operating efficiency.
The EBRD has previously financed the acquisition of the other three ships on this route.
Back in 2014, the bank provided the company with a EUR 63 million-loan to buy three ships it had been operating on a charter basis.
Sea shipping is the leading mode of transport for Turkish international trade, both by value and volume. Over 60 per cent of imports and 55 per cent of exports, by value, are seaborne.
Ro-ro vessels form an integral part of developing the “motorways of the sea”, an international vision to transform shipping into a genuine, more environmentally friendly alternative to overcrowded land transport.
“Although the importance of ro-ro transportation between Europe and Turkey is increasing rapidly, shipping companies in Turkey suffer from scarce access to long-term financing. This is our second transaction with Alternative Transport, a truly international sea transport firm, as we believe shipping operations are not only a successful business but also support a cleaner, safer and more efficient transport system for the country’s booming trade,” Sue Barrett, EBRD Director for Transport, said.
“We are pleased with the support of EBRD, which helps to make possible the execution of our strategy to develop intermodal solutions linking major European ports. On top of that, we keep developing our infrastructure; we invest in new vessels, trucks, warehouses and own ports to the benefit of our customers,” the founder and chairman of Alternative Transport, Ahmet Musul, said.
Alternative Transport was established in 2013, and gained a market share of as much as 18 per cent in its first year of operations, according to EBRD.
The company’s fleet is currently comprised of four RoRo ships.