China and Turkey have enjoyed a long history of trade relations dating back centuries. Over the years, this partnership has evolved and strengthened, resulting in a significant increase in bilateral trade volumes.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, in 2020, Turkey’s total imports from China amounted to approximately $20.6 billion, while its exports to China reached around $3.4 billion. This trade deficit can be attributed to China’s dominance in manufacturing and its ability to produce goods at competitive prices.
China primarily exports machinery, electrical equipment, and textiles to Turkey. Other notable exports from China to Turkey include iron and steel products, vehicles, and plastics. On the other hand, Turkey mainly exports agricultural products, textiles, and chemicals to China. Agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and chemical products, particularly plastics and rubber, also constituted a significant portion of Turkey’s exports to China.
China’s growing middle class and changing dietary preferences have led to an increased demand for hazelnuts, making Turkey a key supplier. Another interesting aspect of the trade relationship between the two countries is the export of Turkish carpets to China. Turkish carpets are renowned for their exquisite craftsmanship and unique designs and are extremely popular among Chinese families.
Dynamic partnership between the two countries continues to flourish, leading to a significant increase in freight shipping. With a distance of approximately 6,000 kilometres, various modes of transportation are available to facilitate the movement of goods.
- Sea Freight: Sea freight is one of the most common and economical modes for shipping goods from China to Turkey. China has several major ports that serve as crucial gateways for international shipping, to name some: Shanghai Port (CNSHA), Ningbo-Zhoushan Port (CNNGB), and Qingdao Port (CNTAO). These ports are well-connected and equipped with modern facilities to handle large volumes of cargo efficiently. On the Turkish side, the major ports that receive shipments from China include Istanbul (TRIST), Izmir (TRIZM), and Mersin (TRMER).
- Air Freight: For time-sensitive or high-value goods, air freight is the preferred mode of transportation. It offers faster transit times compared to sea freight but is relatively more expensive. The major airports involved in air freight shipping from China to Turkey include Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) in China, and Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST), Istanbul Airport (IST), and Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB) in Turkey. The duration of air freight shipping can vary from 2 to 7 days, depending on the airline, flight availability, and customs clearance procedures.
- Rail Freight: Rail freight is gaining popularity as a mode of transportation for shipping goods between China and Turkey. It offers a balance between cost and transit time, making it an attractive option for certain types of cargo. The main rail routes connecting China and Turkey pass through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The duration of rail freight shipping can range from 12 to 20 days, depending on the specific route and customs procedures.
Thus, freight shipping options from China to Turkey encompass sea, air, and rail transportation. The duration of shipping varies depending on the mode chosen, ranging from 25 to 35 days for sea freight, 2 to 7 days for air freight, and 12 to 20 days for rail freight.
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