MoU agreement connects Türkiye and the Mediterranean to Northern Europe

On the occasion of the Logitrans exhibition in Istanbul, the international trade fair for transport and logistics for the Turkish market, the transport operators, DFDS and VIIA, and the French ports of Sète and Calais signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to connect the Mediterranean with Northern Europe.

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Seamless transportation facilitating trade between Türkiye and European markets

The aim of the agreement between the four partners is to improve the flow and reliability of trade between Türkiye, the European Union and the United Kingdom. To this end, it establishes operational cooperation between DFDS, ferry and logistics company, VIIA, railway operator, and the two French intermodal ports of Sète and Calais, that are gateways to Europe and the United Kingdom respectively.

This cooperation offers Turkish companies and carriers exporting to European markets an efficient and fast logistics solution by simply connecting the Mediterranean to Northern Europe by ferry and rail. The route subject to the agreement includes the transportation of goods to the port of Sète via DFDS's Yalova - Sète and Izmir - Sète lines, to the port of Calais via rail connection provided by VIIA, and from there to Tilbury, United Kingdom by DFDS.

More optimized transport

The optimized timing of roll-on/roll-off services in the Mediterranean, trains in France and departures of RoRo and ferries on the English Channel ensure high transportation performance from Türkiye to the United Kingdom. Moreover, early filing of customs declarations ensures smart border crossing and hence smooth and slow-down transport at border crossings.

Apart from connecting southern and northern Europe efficiently, the rail motorways also contribute to the necessary decarbonization of transport. A trailer transported by train represents the saving of 1 ton of CO2 released into the air.

Declarations of the stakeholders

Declaration of Lars Hoffmann, Vice President & Head of DFDS Business Unit Mediterranean:

We are always looking at ways to bring extra value to our customers and to serve them faster and better. By collaborating with leading ports Port of Calais, Port of Sète and VIIA, one of Europe’s leading railway operators, we make it easier for Turkish hauliers and companies to do business in Europe, as we provide them with direct, fast and efficient access and with low-carbon transportation. We continue to leverage our unique routes in the Mediterranean and assist our customers with tapping into opportunities in the Northern European markets.

Declaration of Patrick Zilles, Vice President & General Manager DFDS Rail:

We are delighted to enter into this cooperation with our partners Port of Calais, Port of Sète and VIIA. The connection between Turkey, France and the UK is of great importance for us in order to serve our customers in an efficient, seamless and lower emission way. With the unified ferry and rail transport solution from a single source, this transport corridor will be even more attractive for existing and new customers in the future.

Declaration of Olivier Carmes, General Manager of the port of Sète:

The port of Sete is delighted with the development of this route between Türkiye and the UK that highlights intermodality through our nodal ports which addresses the challenges of decarbonization and speed in exchange flows. France remains an ideal transit land very well located in Europe to link South and North regions.

Declaration Charles Puech d’Alissac, Chairman of VIIA:

“It makes a lot of sense to connect the Motorways of the Sea and the Rail Motorways at certain ports in Europe, allowing rail frequencies to serve a market looking for decarbonization solutions. VIIA and the horizontal loading technology of the LOHR wagon make it possible to connect the Mediterranean Sea and the English Channel for semi-trailers by rail. We welcome this strategic partnership with our partners", said Charles Puech of VIIA.

Declaration of Benoît Rochet, General Manager of the Port of Calais:

The Port of Calais welcomes the signing of this quadripartite agreement with DFDS, VIIA, and the Port of Sète, which will, I am sure, make trade between Türkiye and the UK more reliable and fluid. The organization set up with our partners will guarantee the best logistics performance at the service of Turkish carriers and their customers and will facilitate access to the British market.

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