200 trucks with food products reach Qatar through land route from Turkey via Bushehr port
05 Sep 2017 – 14:33
The Peninsula Online
The land route from Turkey to Port of Bushehr in Iran and then by sea to Ruwais port in Qatar is now open for transport of goods. 200 trucks carrying milk, fruits, vegetables, grains and other food products coming from Turkey arrived in Qatar through this route, a Qatari Businessman said.
The land trade route through Turkey, Iran and Qatar is expected to significantly reduce the cost of transportation of goods. The new trade line will lead to a decline of nearly 80 % in the transportation cost of food items compared to air freight charges, say experts.
Ahmed Al-Khalaf, a prominent Qatari businessman, told Al Sharq Arabic newspaper that 200 trucks carrying milk, fruits, vegetables, grains and other food products coming from Turkey arrived in Qatar through this route and this has helped reduce the cost drastically.
This route is a significant step in tackling the illegal blockade as less transportation time means perishable goods can be transported quickly without damage.
He told the Arabic daily that Qatar’s private sector has played a major role during the 90 days of the unjust siege on Qatar, pointing out that private businesses have closely followed the great efforts made by the State and its various agencies to secure the local market with various commodities and goods.
In an earlier report, Mohammed bin Mahdi Al Ahbabi, Board Member of Qatar Chamber, had said: “The new land trade line between Turkey and Qatar via Iran, will reduce the cost of transport of goods by about 80 percent compared to air cargo.”
Al Ahbabi, also the Head of Trade and Research Committee at QC, who recently headed a 100-member trade delegation to Turkey, added: The cost of air freight is ranging between $1.2 and $1.5 per kg, while the cost of road transport per kg is approximately $0.15 (15 cents).”
He noted that the new trade line will be more sustainable and reliable, and boost the Turkey-Qatar bilateral trade volume manifold, given the fact businessmen from both countries have signed scores of trade agreements, especially during their visit to Turkey from August 3-6.
The sea route between Turkey and Qatar initially took 11 days, while the land route took 14 days. And recent experiments have reduced this duration to nine days. And Turkey aims at reducing the travel time to five or six days or even less.
The newly propounded commercial land transport line, from Turkey’s Mardin city to Iran’s Bushehr port, will further shorten the duration to two or three days at the most. The distance between Mardin city (Turkey) and the port of Bushehr (Iran) is about 1,700km, which can be traveled by trucks in about 22 hours, while the distance between the Iranian port of Bushehr and Qatar’s Hamad Port is not much and the Turkish trucks can cross this distance between the two ports on Ro-Ro ships in just 8 hours. So a truck with Turkish goods can reach to Doha through this route in less than two days.
“Given the nature of some food items, such as vegetables, fruits, poultry and dairy products, land transport is the best way to import them. The new route will not only bring the cost of transportation down significantly, but the items that reach will be more fresh and of better quality”, Ahmed Al Khalaf, Chairman of International Projects Development Co, the parent company of Qatar Meat, told The Peninsula.
Yet another prominent Qatari businessman, Ali Hassan Al Khalaf, Chairman of Qatar Consume, that also runs a chain of retail outlets, across the country, said: “The new land route is going to be more sustainable and economically viable in the days to come. As more and more importers start using the route, the economies of scale will come into play, which will help further reduce the transportation cost.”
He said that in the coming days even the neighbouring countries of Turkey and Iran, such as Russia and Pakistan, can also benefit from the new land route to export their goods to Qatar. He also said that Iran has developed a wide networks of road and rail lines, which will help the movement of goods much smoother and faster.
Ali Hassan noted that unlike the previously-used Saudi land route, the Turkey-Iran-Qatar route will have lesser number of checkpoints, which will ensure the faster movement of trucks. This will not only save a lot of time and money, but goods will reach without losing much of their nutrition value.