Since Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that strayed into its airspace one month ago, the world has been watching the tense relationship between Turkey and Russia. Shippers and carriers especially should pay attention, as the conflict has and will continue to have implications for the global supply chain.
A Significant Region
As unhappy as Russia is with Turkey, they are heavily reliant on Turkey for its only warm water route out of the Black Sea and to the rest of the world.
Historically, Russia has always struggled with its lack of warm water port access. With North America surrounded by water on all sides, it’s hard for Americans and Canadians to understand Russia’s frustration with its lack of port access, especially seeing that the country is largely surrounded by water. However, Russia’s Northern coastline is frozen over for 6 to 9 months of the year, severely limiting use for trade or military transit. As such, the Bosporus and Dardanelles (Turkey’s two straits out of the Black Sea) are essential to Russia’s supply chain, both for commercial and military purposes.