Yilport enters Italy with new multipurpose terminal
Turkish terminal operator Yilport has entered the Italian market by opening its first facility in the country, a multipurpose terminal in the Port of Taranto.
Yilport signed a concession agreement with Port of Taranto on 20 July. The deal appoints Yilport to undertake all operations at the multipurpose terminal for a period of 49 years.
With the new addition to its portfolio, Yilport now operates 22 terminals with the majority situated in Europe.
“We have a strong presence in the Mediterranean. We are in Malta and operate seven ports between Spain and Portugal. Being able to enter Italy and work here in Taranto is like filling in the missing piece of a puzzle that we are building globally,” Robert Yuksel Yildirim, chairman of Yilport Holding, said after signing the agreement.
“Our intention is to create another success story in Taranto. From today until the end of this year, we will be fixing cranes to ramp up business, visiting potential customers, and promote the container terminal. The project also aims to cooperate with local operators to improve cargo and ro-ro traffic,” he added.
Yilport handles all sorts of cargo, including breakbulk and project cargo, but the company seems especially interested in the container shipping industry. Yilport currently ranks 12th in Drewry’s list of international container terminal operators but has the goal to break into the top 10 by 2025.
Yildirim is confident he can turn the rough years of Taranto’s container business around. The Italian port used to be an important transhipment hub for Evergreen, but after the Taiwanese carrier relocated its business to Piraeus in Greece, container throughput quickly fell.
“Once we build relations with container lines, they will bring their cargo here. Then the business will peak. We foresee a 10% inherent growth,” Yildirim tells Lloyd’s List.
The new facility in Italy will operate under the name Taranto Container Terminal. It is able to serve post-Panamax vessels with drafts of 16.5 metres and, according to Yilport, has easy access to both the highway and railway network.