Mersin International Port Credit MIP
Mersin International Port. Credit MIP

Data analytics company Russell Group estimates the Iskenderun Port closure, following the devastating earthquakes in the region, could cost it around $679m by the end of the month.

Today, Evergreen, in line with other carriers, announced it would divert Iskenderun-bound cargo to Mersin, some 200km to the west and itself is close to the significantly damaged Syrian region of Aleppo.

The first major shock toppled container stacks in Iskenderun’s terminal yard, sparking a major fire, which although reported as under control, has closed the port for an indefinite period.

Russell Group analysis is based on modelling that looked at the actions of major shipping companies, “which are offering free cancellations, amendments and changes of destination on all shipments heading to Iskenderun, throughout February”.

“Further analysis shows a $36.7m disruption in iron and steel exports and $51.4m in plastic materials imports is expected to be disrupted by the fire,” said the data group.

However, it added: “These events don’t happen in isolation, there are ripple effects that are expected to be felt across other ports in the region and across supply chains.”

Iskenderun is one of the largest Turkish ports, by dollar revenue, with an annual flow of $18bn of trade last year, according to Russell analysis.

Mersin port has  21 berths for various ship types, including ro-ro and containerships, and an annual throughput capacity of 2.6m teu.

It is currently uncertain whether land connections from Mersin to the earthquake-damaged areas are passable.

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