From tradition to necessity

With a ship building history of over 700 years, Turkey is one of the leading producers and exporters in the ship and yacht building industry.

A seafaring culture is part of Turkey’s heritage, and maritime transport is significant in terms of way of life, as well as being of great economic value to the country. Turkey’s location is crucial geopolitically and strategically – the land roads that join Asia and Europe, extending from the Balkans to Iran and the Middle East, link with the maritime routes that connect the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. Maritime transportation is preferred across the world when it comes to moving large volumes and heavy loads, as it is more advantageous economically than land or rail. The fact that 80 per cent of the world’s trade volume is handled through maritime transportation indicates the benefits of Turkey’s geopolitical location, and the ship and yacht building industry thus has a significant position in the country.

Ranks among the top five countries in the world

The Turkish ship and yacht building industry ranks among the leaders in terms of production. Turkey builds a variety of ships and yachts, in particular chemical tankers, cruise ships, cargo ships and mega yachts. In line with production, Turkey exports to more than 20 countries, and ranks among the top five countries in the world in terms of ship and yacht exports. The industry as a whole is led by the Far Eastern countries that have the advantage of huge government incentives.

Turkey is expected to improve its ranking in the ship and yacht building industry, and the products that stood out in 2015 were cargo ships and tow boats. Total cargo ship and tow boat exports are at a level of $300 million.

Having great potential

The Turkish ship and yacht building industry has increased its ship and yacht exports to $1.03 billion in 2014-2015 and it holds a leading ranking in the world.

Considering Turkey’s potential, this figure is expected to rise to a much higher level in the near future. Cargo ships constitute about 45 per cent of ship exports, and tankers have a 30 per cent share in exports. Even though the share of yachts and recreational crafts make up just 10 per cent of total ship exports, Turkey is one of the leading producers of mega yachts, ranking fifth in the world and the industry is working on branding in order to further improve this production.

Turkey is also successful in terms of custom-made yachts. The country has proven to be the home of notable yacht interior designs, and is preferred particularly for its high-quality materials used in production. The major markets of the Turkish ship and yacht building industry include the EU countries, particularly Norway, the Marshall Islands, Malta, Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries, and Russia.

International Competitiveness Improvement Project in the ship and yacht building industry

The Ship and Yacht International Competitiveness Improvement Project was established by the Turkish Ship and Yacht Exporters’ Association and is a landmark of efforts within the industry.

The project focuses primarily on the yacht building industry, and aims to improve the competitive power of Turkey’s yacht building industry in international markets. The scope of the project was gradually extended to be more efficient and it now includes the determination of the industry’s needs, meeting the training and strategy development requirements of companies, and introducing these companies to buyers in target markets. Plans also include conducting and reporting a needs analysis of nearly 20 leading countries in the ship and yacht building industry, and training companies in accordance with this analysis, as well as including them in trade and purchase delegations.

The ship and yacht building industry also feels the impact of advancing technology and escalating competitive conditions, just as with any other sector of the economy. The level of development and capacity of the ships and yachts improved to a great extent, thanks in particular to new technological possibilities. The industry has a sufficient number of production centres, technology and manpower, all of which allow it to benefit from global opportunities in the best possible manner.