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Ayşem Ulusoy, Chairman of the Board of UTIKAD, 'Unfortunately, We Have A Driver Crisis And It Will Increase Even More In The Near Future'
29 Kasım 2021 Pazartesi 16:59

Ayşem Ulusoy, Chairman of the Board of UTIKAD, 'Unfortunately, We Have A Driver Crisis And It Will Increase Even More In The Near Future'

We continue to listen to the problems and expectations of the sector from the sector and keep them on the agenda. In this context, Nuray Pekcan, Editor-in-Chief of My Truck Magazine, talks to UTIKAD Chairman of the Board Ayşem Ulusoy, about the driver issue, which has been on the agenda in Europe recently and which we have started to hear frequently from the sector in our country, and the new term of UTIKAD.



Making important statements about digitalization and the driver problem of the industry, which UTIKAD emphasizes, Ulusoy states that the problems can be solved by the cooperation of the public, NGOs and universities.

Ulusoy, who started her speech by talking about the new period of UTIKAD, states that they will do successful works with new projects in the new period. Making evaluations about the election period, Ulusoy said that; “A good group among our colleagues came out as the second list. We were a group that came from the existing board of directors and continued the new system by making strategic changes within it. We had a choice worthy of UTIKAD. Now, we continue from where we left off, getting stronger and expanding to newer projects and base. In this process, we received all the criticisms of our members and we have good works. We embraced in four arms, a pleasant period awaits us, we will do very successful works. The winner will be UTIKAD and the sector. As UTIKAD, we will continue on our way by getting stronger in this period."


“We Saw How Important The Sector Is”

Expressing that logistics is one of the most affected sectors after the epidemic, Ulusoy makes evaluations about the sector, emphasizing that logistics employees are on the field and at the core of the work at least as much as healthcare professionals. Ulusoy said that; “If the supply chain cannot be managed well, you cannot provide the supply of medicines to hospitals and food logistics. I wish we had not experienced these heavy processes of the pandemic, but at least we saw how important the sector is and what can happen to us in a small break in this network. Of course, in this process, as logistic workers, we tried many ways to work independently of time and place. We were closed to homes and our infrastructure, procedures and operations related to digitalization have developed in this direction. We have seen that the digital infrastructure must be established urgently, the transition to the contactless system is required and how important our country is in terms of geographical location. In addition, we are a sector with an international market share, but in this process, we understood the importance of nationalization, that is, we have to take care of ourselves when the borders are closed.”


“Turkey is a Very Important Point for Transit Passes”

Expressing that Turkey will be very successful in logistics due to its geographical location and the crisis that China is experiencing, Ulusoy underlines that, however, in a crisis experienced by China, exports are locked and therefore supply diversity needs to be increased. Pointing out that the infrastructure for a logistics base in Turkey should be established, Ulusoy said: “Turkey is a very important point in transit in terms of the brand, products and industrialist power it has created today. If we can restructure our transit legislation today, we have a chance to become a very successful transit country. However, we are currently experiencing difficulties due to the legislation and we need to solve it urgently. It is very right to build a logistics base in Turkey; however, it is necessary to create the infrastructures for this in a very clear sense. Feasibility studies need to be done in detail. I think that progress can be made with the joint and collective work of the public, NGOs, universities and the press for perception management in all matters.”


“We Cannot Be a Transit Country Because of the Intensity and Complexity of Legislation”

Pointing out that as UTIKAD, they prepared an important report, Ulusoy spoke about the details of the report as follows: "Last period, Ms. Berna Akyıldız stayed in Dubai for about 15 days and carried out important works, and as UTIKAD, she prepared the Turkey transit report with the Customs and Warehouse Working Group. Our country is a transit pass point, but there is a prejudice against transit passes due to many problems experienced before. Transitions take too long. Regarding the intensity and complexity of the legislation, we cannot be a transit country. There was also another study to be conducted in Barcelona, ??but Dubai was enough for the first stage. Dubai is also a very important transit center. We drew a model from there and published a successful report on how digitalization should be. It is being worked on.”


“Digital Logistics Platform Concept Report is Ready to be Submitted to Relevant Ministries”

Mentioning that the pandemic crisis has changed business models, Ulusoy states that it is understood that the need to expand contactless digitalization during the pandemic process. Stating that as UTIKAD, they continue to keep the issue of automation in documents on their agenda, Ulusoy said that; “We have completed the model study of UTIKAD National Digital Logistics Platform, which is an important project that we started in 2020 with our focus group. The digitization of many modes of transport and our ways of doing business have been modeled. The Digital Logistics Platform Concept Report is ready to be submitted to the relevant Ministries. We need to start a contactless and paperless process. We know the difficulties faced by customs officers. If we can create that digital infrastructure here and accelerate, our market share in the global market will also increase.”


“We Prepared the Roadmap of Digitalization”

Stating that they will submit the report to the ministry as soon as possible, Ulusoy points out that the Ministry of Commerce has an important task in this process in terms of regulation and digitalization. Drawing attention to the important points in the formation of the digital infrastructure, Ulusoy said that; “I think that logistics incentives should also be discussed in order to make all kinds of environmentally sensitive investments and to create digital infrastructures in this period. Because these are costly issues under any circumstance. Digitization is not an easy process, but we have prepared the roadmap. In this period, logistics should be supported with an economical package. At the same time, both our members, our sectoral stakeholders and the companies that put great effort into the logistics sector do not have any support other than turquality. While support is given to many sectors, unfortunately our sector is not supported. All kinds of investments we will make, both in our physical fields and through legislative changes, should be supported by the state.”


“We Need to Increase Our Purchasing Power from Nearby Geographies”

Underlining the need to diversify the supplier, Ulusoy states that many of the problems experienced today will be experienced again if the dependence on China continues. Ulusoy said that; “Recently, raw materials and semi-finished products need to be supplied from Europe a little more. Maybe the unit price is too high; however, transit time is short and easy to reach. We need to increase our purchasing power from nearby geographies due to any different pandemic, chip or energy crisis that may occur in China. This is an important opportunity for Turkey. If these can be evaluated well, the future of Turkey is very clear.”


“We Need to Shift the Road to Intermodal Transport”

Adding to her words that there is a 32 percent increase in heavy cargo exports on the highway, Ulusoy emphasizes that this increase is very valuable, but that the highway should be shifted to intermodal transportation a little more due to the density in Kapıkule. Ulusoy adds to her speech that; “We need to turn the highway to more intermodal transportation. By increasing our railway, we must explain how important it is, we must be able to invest in an internal railway line in the east-west direction, and we must be able to transfer the organized industrial zones to the ports by railway. For this, it is very important that we can create resources. When these are done, there can be no question of Turkey not being a logistics base. However, every issue should be planned strategically and resources should be spent correctly. The industry must now find the place it deserves. Today, we are an industry that invests as much as an industrialist. Logistics needs to be managed very well from now on. We are a member of the Customs Union, but our vehicles have problems here. Our drivers cannot obtain visas. Our visa periods have been extended to 35 days and driver visas have started to be rejected at a rate of 40 percent.”


“If We Can't Manage Human Resources with the Right Process, We Will Have Big Problems in the Future”

Commenting on the driver crisis, which has also come to the fore in European countries, Ulusoy, drawing attention to human resources, said that; Although we dream of automation, autonomous vehicles and digital warehouses, if we cannot manage human resources with the right process, we will experience great difficulties in the future. Therefore, this term, we will try to support women logisticians in the management of the high-level human resources process. We will increase cooperation with universities. We will try to move forward in the direction of choosing vocational high schools on the basis of logistics in high schools and to create resources for ourselves from the engineering departments of universities.”


“You Can't Solve A Problem Of Which Reason You Don’t Understand Well”

Emphasizing that the issue of the driver is a very important issue that needs attention, Ulusoy states that there is a driver crisis in our country and it will increase even more in the near future. Pointing out that this problem can be solved by enabling the young population to be interested in the logistics sector, Ulusoy said that; “The difficulties brought by the profession continue to increase. Being a long distance driver is hard work. We have to create awareness of this in this sector, give the necessary value to our drivers, manage our operational processes properly and ensure that Y and Z generations understand this sector. There is 22.7 percent youth unemployment. If we can attract the attention of the young population and explain how enjoyable this job is, I think we can solve this problem and and we must. Unfortunately, the processes of the Y and Z generation are not like our‘s. They want more flexible working hours, they do not want to be controlled and managed with a dictated management approach, which unfortunately does not have flexible working hours. Therefore, we need to understand the scenario well and look at its source. You can't find a solution to a problem of which reason you don't understand well."


“The Driver Problem Should Be Discussed Urgently with the Cooperation of the Public, NGOs and Universities”

Emphasizing that collective work on the driver problem will be effective in finding a solution, Ulusoy concluded his speech with these words: “You found a driver's school; but sustainability has to be taken into account. You open it but it closes after a few months. You find several drivers in your own fleet, which we have successfully started to do with our members. If there is no collective spirit and you cannot spread it widely, these are the solutions to save the day. The driver problem should be urgently discussed with the cooperation of the public, NGOs and universities. We have suggestions on this subject and our work starts as of November. We will prepare our reports. This is not something that the NGO can do alone. In order to encourage long-distance drivers, their retirement and working hours should be regulated as heavy workers. The state needs to prepare a package for these friends in the position of heavy workers and encourage them. With the support of the state, we can make this sector attractive. Human resources management needs to be done very successfully.”



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