In a potential sizeable shift for cargoes heading to Europe, the Turkish ministry of transport, shipping and communications has announced plans to connect by rail the port of Izmir to the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway corridor. The 843 km long rail corridor officially opened last year and provides a link to Europe through Central Asia.
The line – financed by three countries, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, is intended to transport an initial annual volume of 6.5m tonnes, rising to a long-term target of 17m tonnes.
Izmir is located in the far west of Turkey, on the Aegean. In October this year Maersk’s APM Terminals divested its container terminal in Izmir to its partner in the Turkish port, State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR).