The loss of blood in logistics came from the domestic market

Aysel YUCEL

Inflationary pressure and rising energy costs have slowed the pace of the logistics sector, which has gained traction with the pandemic. The first news of retraction came from the domestic market. The general manager of Borusan Lojistik, Serdar Erçal, one of the biggest players in the sector, announced that there was a 10% decrease in the volume of business in the domestic market in the first 5 months of the year compared to the same period of the previous year.

In an interview with WORLD, the general manager of Borusan Lojistik, Serdar Erçal, made important assessments about the sector. Evaluating the first 5 months of this year in terms of the sector, Erçal stated that the fluctuation of the exchange rate, inflationary pressure and rising energy costs due to the Russia-Ukraine war caused job losses in the domestic market. Erçal said: “When we look at the first 5 months of this year, we see a 5-10 percent contraction in turnover from our current customers in almost every industry we serve. We can say that there is a retraction of 5% to 10% in the domestic market, in some sectors of 5%, in others of 10%”, he said. Erçal pointed out that they have not yet felt a contraction in export shipments, but that the retraction in global markets may also be reflected in international shipments in the future. Erçal said that another difficulty they had this year was in setting prices, adding: “We are experiencing a period in which we have difficulties in determining at what price we will do business due to exchange rate fluctuation and inflationary pressure. The sector, which is experiencing a contraction in turnover, is also struggling to do so with prices,” he said. Noting that they continue to grow like Borusan Lojistik despite the shrinking sector, Erçal said: “Like Borusan Lojistik, we don’t feel the contraction. Because we have a lot of new jobs in addition to our current jobs,” he said.

“Digitization and technology are the focus of your investments”

Borusan Lojistik is counting down the days to leave half a century behind. The company will be 50 years old next year. Serdar Erçal stressed that they made investments that responded to customer needs and made their operations more efficient from the first day of establishment. In this context, the company has focused on digitalization and technology for the last 10 years. Serdar Erçal said: “We are making significant investments in digitalization. We are one of the industry’s leading ‘onsite R&D’ facilities. We have many analyst friends working on this issue. In the last 10 years, instead of buying a vehicle, we have preferred to invest in investments in digitization aligned with the needs of our customers to offer the best experience to customers. And all our investments are in that direction,” he said.

Expressing that it is not possible to dominate the market or satisfy the immediate needs of customers, especially through the acquisition of a vehicle in terms of national distribution, Erçal continued: the needs of his customers. In this context, our most important investment is to facilitate the supply infrastructure with digitalization, giving preference to Borusan. In fact, we are a technology company that provides logistics services,” he said. Erçal stated that they are constantly making new investments in the areas of technology and digitization and that they are constantly focusing on renewing and improving processes. Borusan Lojistik continues to make significant investments in e-commerce logistics. It provides a triple service to the Company in terms of commercial logistics. Large-volume cargo, such as TVs and white goods that the cargo cannot carry, are delivered. Small volume loads are delivered under the Bukoli brand. Bukoli, which also found cooperation with 5,000 artisans as a delivery point, serves every last point through e-commerce points. Another Borusan service that provides e-commerce logistics services is Biyol. Biol supports companies that produce in Turkey to reach markets such as the US and Europe. The aim is to eliminate the obstacles faced by SMEs when doing business with the world’s giant e-commerce sites. Provides support for warehousing and customs clearance. Erçal said that they are very assertive in the three areas and that they will continue to make new investments.

Planted 1 in 10 transports, reaching 600,000 trees

Borusan Lojistik is a company that carries out important sustainability and green transformation work. Emphasizing that one of the most important agendas for logistics companies in the coming period is green transformation, Serdar Erçal said: “We are making significant investments in sustainability. We started these investments a long time ago and set goals.” The company has been measuring carbon emissions for a long time and is taking steps to reduce them. Serdar Erçal stated that as a logistics company it is still not possible to reach zero carbon emissions and said: “We are planting 1 tree every 10 transports to close this gap”. To this end, the company has planted 600,000 trees so far. Affirming that just planting trees is not enough, Erçal said: “It is important to carry out the same load with less car and less carbon emissions. We have also implemented our ETA platform for this purpose. We provide efficiency with load and route optimizations. “We’ve been investing in this for a long time,” he said. The company also increases efficiency by making investments to solve the problem of empty returns from freighter voyages. Erçal stresses that for Turkey to continue selling goods to the European market in the near future, it has to adapt to the green transformation plan and, in this context, logistics companies must make investments that guarantee less carbon emissions.

‘Cart switched to cheap products in e-commerce’

While there is no sign of a contraction in e-commerce, which is one of the areas where the fastest growth has occurred with the pandemic, it is clear that consumers are migrating to cheap products. Serdar Erçal explained the effect of inflationary pressure on the e-commerce sector: “We have not seen a contraction in e-commerce, but the types of products are changing. The value of goods in the basket is shifting towards cheaper goods.”

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