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Turkish company is new operator of Oslo container terminal

Yilport Holding won a competition in which four other international companies were bidders. The new operator will take over the operation of the container traffic in the port of Oslo. The agreement has a term of 20 years with an option for a 10 year extension.

Yilport Holding is part of the international family-run industrial and trade company Yildirim Group, which is based in Istanbul, Turkey. The company, established in 1963, is engaged in manufacturing and mining, trade, shipping, shipbuilding and port operations. The company has 8,000 employees. Yilport Holding operates two container terminals in Turkey and has a 50% stake in Malta Freeport Terminal. In 2014, they took over the operation of Gävle Container Terminal, one of the most effectively run container terminals in Sweden.

- We have chosen the international company Yilport Holding because we believe that they are the best choice to operate and develop the largest and most modern container terminal in Norway. The Port of Oslo aims to be a competitive and efficient port for the future. Our goal is to receive twice as much cargo as we do today, in order to supply an ever-growing population in the Oslo area. Yilport Holding was selected based on both economic and commercial criteria, says Port Director Anne Sigrid Hamran.

The new company will lease space and cranes from the Port of Oslo. The operator will also hold employer responsibility for the crane operators, which until now have been employed by the Port Authority.

The Port Authority Board decided on 24 October 2013 that the crane operators shall be transferred to the new terminal operator through a business transfer. When the operator gets a unified responsibility for all operations and the staff at the terminal, a more efficient and smooth operation of the terminal is expected.

- The efficiency of terminals and their optimal organization are essential to ensure that more cargo is transported by sea. We anticipate that collaboration will be easier when terminal employees and crane operators have one employer only. This way of organizing the workforce at the terminal is considered to be vital for the competitiveness and effectiveness of the port. We acknowledge that obtaining a new employer can be experienced as an uncertain and challenging situation by our employees. We would like to stress that the new operator has a policy of hiring local terminal managers. Moreover, we have stressed in the negotiation process that the operator must comply with Norwegian law generally, not least Norwegian labour laws, says Anne Sigrid Hamran.

The dock workers at Oslo loading- and unloading office are not covered by the agreement with the new operator.

Yilport Holding, Yilport Oslo and the Port of Oslo signed the lease contract on Wednesday, October 15th 2014, for the land and equipment of Port of Oslo's Container Terminals.

The Port of Oslo container facilities are the largest in Norway, handling over 30% of the Norwegian container volume. Port of Oslo has embarked on an intense city planning project, relocating container volumes within the port to a new container facility at Sjursøya. This facility will be developed in stages to a designed annual capacity of 450,000 TEU. In 2013, the Port of Oslo container facilities handled over 200,000 TEU. Yilport Holding has been selected as the terminal's operator based on its unique systems and extensive experience in port operation. Yilport also has the ability to aggressively market the terminal internationally.The Port of Oslo Director, Anne-Sigrid Hamran believes Yilport is the best choice to develop and operate the container terminal. In a statement she said:

"Yilport Holding was chosen because they share our goal of doubling cargo flows in order to serve Oslo's growing population and boost the economy. Based on Yilport's proven track-record, we have confidence they can take on this task."

The addition of Yilport Oslo is part of Yilport Holding's mission of being a top-10 port operator by 2025. The company has big plans for further expansion in Northern Europe as well as other regions in the world. The CEO of Yilport Holding, Sean Pierce, is confident in the new partnership with the Port of Oslo. He says:

"For now our immediate focus is establishing rail connection to expand the market, and offering an integrated service package. We have a long-term commitment to turn YILPORT Oslo into the preferred Gateway for all Norwegian cargo. The port has lost some of its competitive advantage and Yilport, in partnership with the Oslo Havn, will focus on improving the quality of the services provided to customers."