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In today's interconnected world, efficient freight shipping is essential for businesses engaged in international trade between Turkey and Russia. This article explores the key aspects of freight shipping, including rates, transit times, and duties & taxes, providing valuable insights for businesses and individuals working with DocShipper. Whether you're shipping goods from Turkey to Russia or vice versa, understanding these factors is crucial for effective logistics planning and successful cross-border transactions. To give you the best advice on which shipping method to choose for your shipment between those countries, we have compared these 2 options for you!

Turkey and Russia’s relations

The relationship between Turkey and Russia is complex and multifaceted, with a blend of historical, political, economic, and cultural ties. Over the years, the two countries have experienced periods of cooperation and competition, as well as occasional tensions. Today, they maintain a significant partnership in various sectors, including trade, energy, and diplomacy.

Turkey and Russia share a long history of cultural exchange and economic cooperation. The geographical proximity between the two countries has facilitated extensive trade relations, with Russia being one of Turkey's major trading partners. The energy sector is a key component of their bilateral cooperation, with Turkey serving as a critical transit hub for Russian natural gas exports. 

While there have been occasional differences and geopolitical challenges that have strained their relationship, both Turkey and Russia have shown a willingness to engage in dialogue and seek common ground. The continuous efforts to enhance economic ties, cultural exchanges, and diplomatic cooperation have contributed to the overall stability and development of their relationship. As a result, travelers can expect a diverse and dynamic experience when exploring the connections between Turkey and Russia, marked by a blend of shared history, mutual interests, and unique cultural influences.

The commercial agreement between Russia and Turkey 

Commercial agreements between Russia and Turkey are governed by several trade agreements and cooperation mechanisms. Here are some of the key commercial agreements between the two countries:

  • Free Trade Agreement between Russia and Turkey: This agreement, signed in 2000, aims to promote bilateral trade by eliminating or reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers on traded goods between the two countries.
  • Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investments: This agreement encourages and protects mutual investments between the two countries, providing a favorable legal framework and ensuring investment security.
  • Sector-specific agreements: Russia and Turkey have also signed sector-specific agreements in areas such as energy, agriculture, transportation, and tourism to promote closer cooperation and facilitate trade in these specific sectors.

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The political relationship between Russia and Turkey

In recent years, Russia and Turkey's political relationship has been characterized by a blend of cooperation and competition. They have recognized the advantages of economic and energy cooperation, leading to significant growth in bilateral trade and energy ties.

Turkey emerged as Russia's primary trade partner in 2022, with trade volume reaching around 21 billion US dollars, covering various goods such as hydrocarbons, agricultural products, machinery, and more. The two nations also engaged in defense cooperation, but their relationship faced challenges due to disagreements over regional conflicts like the Syrian situation and Turkey's acquisition of Russian military equipment, which strained ties with NATO allies.

Despite these challenges, both countries have maintained a pragmatic approach, striving to balance competing interests and find common ground while navigating the complexities of regional dynamics. The future of their relationship will depend on how they manage their differences effectively amidst evolving regional dynamics.

What is the best method of transportation between Turkey and Russia?

There are 2 different methods to ship your goods between Turkey and Russia: by sea freight or air freight. To give you the best advice on which shipping method to choose for your shipment between them, we have compared these 2 options for you!


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Sea Freight between Turkey and Russia

Sea freight between Turkey and Russia has witnessed a significant increase in trade volume, reaching approximately $23 billion in 2020. Both countries have invested in modernizing their port infrastructure, with ports like Novorossiysk in Russia and Istanbul and Mersin in Turkey being upgraded to handle larger vessels and increased cargo volumes. 

The average transit time for sea freight from Turkey to Russia is around 5 to 10 days, depending on various factors. Containerization remains a popular method, with a growing use of specialized containers for temperature-sensitive cargo. 

E-commerce has also influenced sea freight, leading to an increase in small parcel shipments. Both countries are actively promoting sustainability in the industry, adopting eco-friendly technologies and optimizing shipping routes for energy efficiency.

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Ocean freight between Turkey to Russia

Maritime trade between Turkey and Russia faces challenges due to strained diplomatic relations, geopolitical tensions, and navigating complex legal and regulatory frameworks. Political uncertainties and potential trade restrictions, along with disruptions to shipping routes, add to the complexity. Businesses must carefully plan, adapt, and coordinate with logistics partners to ensure successful operations in this challenging trade environment.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has further complicated maritime trade between Turkey and Russia. The heightened tensions and sanctions imposed by certain countries have disrupted trade flows and created uncertainty. Adapting to changing regulations and closely monitoring the evolving situation is crucial for businesses engaged in this trade. The conflict highlights the geopolitical factors that can impact maritime trade and emphasizes the need for careful consideration of the regional context.

DocShipper info : DocShipper is an international freight forwarder that organizes the transportation of your goods from the supplier's warehouse to the final destination. Relax, because we take care of everything: from packing to organizing the transport, to customs clearance and administrative procedures, regardless of the shipping method (air, sea, road, rail). Contact us to receive a free estimate in less than 24 hours. You have a question ? Call our consultants for free.

Main ports of Russia

The three main ports of Russia are:

  • Port of Novorossiysk: Located on the Black Sea coast, the Port of Novorossiysk is one of the largest and busiest ports in Russia. It serves as a vital gateway for international trade, connecting Russia to the Mediterranean Sea and other regions. The port handles various types of cargo, including containers, bulk cargo, and liquid bulk. It also has specialized terminals for oil and grain shipments.
  • Port of St. Petersburg: Situated on the Gulf of Finland, the Port of St. Petersburg is a major port in Russia and the Baltic Sea region. It serves as a key hub for containerized cargo, bulk cargo, and general cargo. The port has modern infrastructure, including deep-water berths and advanced logistics facilities. It plays a crucial role in facilitating trade between Russia and Northern Europe.
  • Port of Vladivostok: Located on the Pacific coast, the Port of Vladivostok is a significant port in Russia's Far East region. It serves as a major trade gateway for the Asia-Pacific region and plays a vital role in Russia's international maritime trade. The port handles various types of cargo, including containers, bulk cargo, and automobiles. It has undergone significant development to accommodate increased trade volumes and improve logistics efficiency.

Novorossiysk, St. Petersburg, and Vladivostok are key ports in Russia, facilitating import and export activities. With strategic locations, advanced infrastructure, and global connectivity, they contribute to economic growth and international trade relations.

Transit time between the ports of Turkey and the ports of Russia 

With an average transit time of 17 to 45 days, cargo shipping is commonly used for secure and streamlined transportation.

Ocean freight, although reliable, is the slowest mode of shipping. The provided transit times represent averages from port to port and do not include collection, delivery, and customs clearance procedures. It is important to consider these additional factors when planning shipments via ocean freight.

How to choose container types for Turkey-Russia shipping?

There are various sorts of containers, but the three most prevalent sizes are:

  • 20 ft Equivalent Unit (TEU): A standard container with dimensions of 20 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8.5 feet in height, with a capacity of approximately 1,172 cubic feet or 33.18 cubic meters.
  • 40 ft Equivalent Unit (FEU): A standard container with dimensions of 40 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8.5 feet in height, commonly abbreviated as "40 ft" or "40', with a capacity of approximately 2,390 cubic feet or 67.67 cubic meters.
  • 40 ft High Cube (HQ) container: Similar to the FEU container, but with an additional height of 1 foot, making it 9.5 feet in height. It has an increased capacity of approximately 2,694 cubic feet or 76.3 cubic meters.

DocShipper Recommendation: For cargo volumes ranging from 2 m3 to 13/14 m3, we highly recommend using the LCL (Less Than Container Load) shipping option. However, if the volume exceeds that range, opting for FCL (Full Container Load) shipping is preferable and cost-effective.

How can you choose between LCL and FCL

The choice between FCL and LCL depends on factors such as a company's inventory requirements, the nature of the goods being shipped, cost considerations, and the overall volume of products. By understanding these differences, you can make informed procurement and shipping decisions that align with your specific needs and optimize your supply chain operations.

Special maritime transport between Turkey and Russia

Special maritime transport between Turkey and Russia offers tailored solutions for the transportation of unique goods. It includes options for oversized or heavy cargo, hazardous materials, perishable goods, and those requiring temperature control. Dedicated vessels with specialized features ensure the safe and efficient delivery of such goods. Compliance with regulations and collaboration with experienced logistics providers are essential for a successful transport process.

DocShipper Advice: If you're considering importing or exporting goods, it's highly recommended to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable expert such as Docshipper. When it comes to transportation options for your goods, consolidation can be a somewhat risky choice. However, with Docshipper's expertise in the export and import process, particularly in FCL and LCL consolidation, you can rest assured that your needs will be taken care of promptly. Get in touch with us today via our contact form or give us a call, and one of our experienced professionals will provide you with swift assistance.

Container Options for Specialized Shipping: Reefer? Ro-Ro? Bulk? OOG?

When determining the appropriate container for your shipment, several factors come into play, including the size of your cargo and the nature of the goods. Various container options are available to accommodate specific needs:

  • Reefer Container: These refrigerated containers are ideal for temperature-sensitive products such as meat, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. They ensure that goods maintain a stable temperature throughout their journey.
  • Ro-Ro (Roll-on/Roll-off): Ro-Ro vessels are used for shipping vehicles and are loaded via ramps. They provide a straightforward and cost-effective method for transporting vehicles. The vehicles are driven onto the vessel's car decks and securely fastened.
  • Bulk Cargo: Bulk goods are directly loaded into the ship's hold or designated facilities. There are two types of bulk goods: solid bulk goods (e.g., coal, ores) and liquid bulk goods (e.g., petroleum products). Specialized bulk carriers, such as ore carriers or coal carriers, are used for transporting bulk cargo.
  • OOG (Out of Gauge): OOG cargoes are non-standard in dimensions or weight and cannot fit into standard containers. They are typically loaded onto platforms or trailers for transportation. Open Top Containers have no rooftop, while flat-rack containers lack roofs and partitions on the sides, allowing for the shipping of heavy or oversized items in terms of height and/or width.

Considering the specific requirements of your cargo, selecting the appropriate container type ensures the safe and efficient transportation of your goods.

How much does the ocean freight cost between Turkey and Russia?

The average cost of shipping a 20-foot container (FCL) from Turkey to Russia ranges from $500 to $1,500, while the cost of a 40-foot container (FCL) can range from $800 to $2,500. The cost of shipping a Less than Container Load (LCL) shipment can vary depending on the volume and weight of the cargo. Please note that these are approximate estimates, and the actual cost may vary based on the specific details of your shipment.

How is the freight cost between Turkey and Russia calculated?

The weight/volume ratio, or volumetric weight, is the most used method to calculate sea freight costs between Turkey and Russia. It determines the chargeable weight of a shipment, used by carriers to calculate costs.

The formula for calculating volumetric weight involves multiplying the length, width, and height of the shipment, then dividing by a volumetric weight factor. The resulting volumetric weight is compared to the actual weight, and the higher is used as the chargeable weight for shipping costs.

For example, if you have a shipment from Turkey to Russia with a physical weight of 500 kg but a volume of 2 cubic meters, and the volumetric weight factor is 5000 cubic centimeters per kg, you can calculate the volumetric weight as follows:

Volumetric weight (kg) = Volume (m3) / Volumetric weight factor (m3/kg)

Volumetric weight (kg) = 2 m3 / 5000 m3/kg = 0.4 kg

In this case, the volumetric weight of 0.4 kg is higher than the actual weight of 0.5 kg. Therefore, the shipping costs would be based on the volumetric weight of 0.4 kg, as it would be considered the chargeable weight for the shipment.

Using the weight/volume ratio allows for accurate calculation of shipping costs based on space occupied, ensuring efficient utilization of cargo space and appropriate charges for larger but lighter shipments, reflecting actual space occupied in the shipping vessel.

DocShipper Advice: As you can see, there are a variety of elements that influence delivery costs. Fill out our online form to speak with one of our experts right now. For more information about this kind of transportation, see our website devoted to marine freight: Sea freight


Air freight between Turkey to Russia

Air freight between Turkey and Russia is often preferred for urgent shipments requiring a fast delivery time.

What are the different types of air freight?

There are two main types of air freight services available: 

  • Conventional air cargo: Utilizes space on conventional airlines (such as Air France, Air China…) and cargo carriers for larger quantities of goods. Ideal for non-time-sensitive shipments following regular airfreight schedules.
  • Express air freight: Relies on courier companies like DHL, FedEx, TNT, UPS, and others for smaller shipments, typically parcels or packages. Designed for expedited delivery of time-sensitive items such as documents, perishable goods, or high-value items. Offers faster transit times, tracking, insurance, and priority handling.

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What are the advantages of air transport?

Air freight offers several advantages that make it a preferred choice for certain types of goods:

  • Speed and Reliability: Air transport is known for its speed, allowing goods to be transported quickly across continents. This is particularly beneficial for perishable items, live animals, and time-sensitive goods.
  • Safety: Airports have strict regulations and security measures in place, ensuring the safety and protection of air cargo. This reduces the risk of theft or damage during transit.
  • Extensive Coverage: Air freight can reach even the most remote locations by utilizing airports as transportation hubs. Goods can then be efficiently transported to their final destination by road or other means.
  • Tracking Capabilities: Many air cargo service providers offer online tracking systems, allowing shippers to monitor the status of their shipments in real-time. This provides transparency and peace of mind throughout the transportation process.
  • Cost-effective Packaging: Due to the lightweight nature of air shipments, packaging requirements are often minimal. This reduces the need for excessive packaging materials and containers, resulting in cost savings for shippers.

In summary, air freight provides fast and reliable transportation, enhanced security measures, extensive coverage to remote areas, tracking capabilities, and cost-effective packaging options for certain types of goods.

How much does it cost to transport air freight between Turkey and Russia?

Shipping costs from China to the US can vary depending on various factors such as the chosen mode of transport, shipment size, weight, and applicable taxes and customs duties. 

When it comes to air freight, rates typically range from $100 to several thousand dollars.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) establishes a tariff structure for air freight. The basic rate is determined based on weight bands, with prices decreasing as the weight increases. 

There is usually a minimum charge for very small shipments. Here is an example:

  • Price per kilo: $6
  • 1000 to 2500 kg: $5/kg
  • 2500 to 3500 kg: $4/kg
  • More than 3500 kg: $3/kg
  • Minimum collection: $600

It's important to note that the calculation of the tariff is not solely based on the gross weight of the goods but also takes into account the volumetric weight.

Additionally, airlines and airports may apply additional fees and taxes such as airport tax, AWB (Airway Bill) fees, security tax, risk insurance tax, and fuel tax.

These additional charges and taxes vary depending on the specific airline, airport, and the nature of the shipment. 

It's advisable to consult with a freight forwarder or shipping agent to get accurate and up-to-date information on the total cost of air freight from China to the US, including any applicable fees and taxes.

How to calculate the volumetric weight of your shipment?

Just like the sea freight previously, an equivalency rule is applied as well by all air carriers to calculate the volumetric weight. The greatest of the volumetric weight and the gross weight of your goods will be used. Please note the following rules:

Classic airfreight : 1 CBM = 167 Kgs (1:6)

Express airfreight : 1 CBM = 200 kgs (1:5)

Door-to-door delivery between Turkey and Russia? 

Door-to-door is the most common and convenient way to ship your goods. In this case, the customer is free of all the steps related to the shipment. We take care of the entire process from the beginning, including loading and collection of your goods, customs clearance, freight to the port/airport of arrival in Turkey or Russia and the delivery to your warehouse or your home. Door-to-door is above all a practical and fast solution.


Docshipper banner: By combining our experience with the professionalism of our partners in Turkey and the US we guarantee you quality service from A to Z, you will not have to take any steps, and you will be relieved of some of your worries. This method will save you time and also money, so don’t hesitate to contact us!

What are the advantages of door-to-door services?

Advantages of Door-to-Door Services:

  • Convenience: Door-to-door services provide a high level of convenience as the shipping company takes care of the entire transportation process, from pickup at the origin to delivery at the destination. This saves the customer from the hassle of coordinating multiple parties and handling logistics.
  • Time-Saving: Door-to-door services are typically faster compared to other shipping options. The shipping company takes responsibility for managing the entire process, ensuring timely pickup, transportation, and delivery of the goods.
  • Reduced Risk of Damage: With door-to-door services, the shipping company is accountable for the safe handling and transportation of the goods throughout the entire journey. This reduces the risk of damage or loss compared to multiple transfers between different modes of transport.
  • Improved Tracking and Visibility: Door-to-door services often include advanced tracking systems that provide real-time updates on the shipment's location and estimated delivery time. This allows customers to have better visibility and peace of mind regarding the status of their goods.

DocShipper info : Looking for a safe and dependable door-to-door service between Turkey and Russia? We will gladly assist you in locating the best comprehensive package for you. DocShipper is here to assist you from A to Z and ensure the smoothest possible shipment, with no intervention required from your side as our team will take care of everything. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Customs clearance for goods imported from Turkey and Russia

In this section, we provide detailed guidance on the requirements and regulations that you should be aware of when importing products from Turkey and Russia.

Our guidelines aim to assist you in understanding the import process by offering an overview and index, making it easier for you to comprehend the general rules and procedures for importing goods from these countries. 

Also we will include links to the main regulations applicable in Turkey and Russia, enabling you to access the necessary information to ensure compliance with import regulations.

DocShipper info: At DocShipper, we do not charge customs duties directly. Customs duties and taxes are paid directly to the government. However, we do charge customs clearance fees for our services, which cover the administrative tasks and expertise involved in the customs clearance process.

What documents are required for customs clearance?

The specific documentation required for customs clearance in Indonesia may differ based on the type of commodities being imported or exported, as well as the customs authority's specific criteria. However, the following are some frequent documents that may be required for customs clearance in Indonesia:

  • Commercial invoice: This document provides a description of the goods being imported, as well as their value.
  • Bill of lading: This is a legal document that provides evidence of the shipment of goods and includes details such as the type of goods, quantity, and destination.
  • Packing list: This document provides a detailed list of the contents of each package being shipped.
  • Import declaration: This is a document that declares the details of the imported goods, including their HS code, quantity, value, and country of origin.
  • Certificate of origin: This document confirms the origin of the goods being imported and may be required to claim preferential treatment under a free trade agreement.
  • Insurance certificate: This document provides evidence of insurance coverage for the goods being transported.
  • Permits and licenses: Depending on the type of goods being imported or exported, various permits and licenses may be required, such as import permits or phytosanitary certificates.


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