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Catoni Group – Shipping Agency – Logistics & International Trading

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Mr. George Kile
Business Development

Where does the name Catoni come from and what are the main activities of the company today?

Catoni Group was founded back in 1846 by an Italian refugee who immigrated to Turkey to continue the family business of shipping under the name of Belafonte & Catoni. This company operated throughout Turkey, all the while adding important contracts and various milestones to its repertoire. In 1963 Belfante & Catoni ceased to exist in favor of Catoni Maritime Agencies S.A.

Catoni Group has vast experience in container trade and is, in fact, one of the pioneering agents who introduced containerization to the Turkish market in the 1980s. Catoni has represented a number of container operators under the agency structure of Catoni Group over the years, which is why Catoni has turned out to be a very experienced agent with multiple trade avenues.

Some of the agency representations within Catoni Group are:

• P&O Containers, London (before they had merged with Nedlloyd)
• Hamburg Sud, Hamburg
• NSCSA, Riyadh
• Maruba, Buenos Aires
• CSAV, Santiago
• NOL-APL, Singapore
• NYK Line, Tokyo (still serving)
• Hapag Lloyd, Hamburg
• Nile Dutch, Rotterdam , (Still serving)
• China Shipping Container Line, Shanghai

Today, the company has become one of the most diversified service providers with services that include not only ” Transportation” in which the shipping agency and logistics activities are conducted, but also ” International Trading ” as well.

You have a strategic location in Turkey but you are also active in countries around the Black Sea, tell us more.

Starting with Perestroika the management decided to expand the organisation to Black Sea Countries. The expansion started in the mid-1990s. A few years ago Catoni also established an office in Erbil/Iraq and became an important service provider in the region, covering the countries like Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iraq.

The following map shows the location of Catoni’s own offices.

There are a ton of freight forwarders in Turkey, how do you make sure that you stand out among them?

In daily business we practice three core values; Honesty, Transparency and Professionalism. Our environmental protection ethos is followed strictly and communicate with third parties. Our ethics and corporate governance policies are maintained throughout all activities.

In line with the SBDP (Strategic Business Development Plan) for the period 2010-2015 and 2015-2020 all Catoni Companies are committed to the corporate policies and best practices adopted in the Catoni Integrated Management System (CIMS) with stringent determination and diligence going forward.

Besides the above, diversification has become one of the core biz attitudes of Catoni for many years, which has allowed us to have such a long history in such difficult environments where worldwide partners look for reliable agents. Having said that; “Continuity” has become the most important company motto with over 170 years operating in the region.

Tell us about the business environment in Turkey currently, how is the economy doing and how is it influencing your business?

Catoni is trying to shape its organisation in line with the projects taking place in Turkey, considering the year 2023 targets set by Turkish Government. Most of the times Catoni finds itself as an important partner for companies who would like to invest in such sensitive markets like Turkey. The continuous presence of Catoni in the region and of course our local expertise gives confidence to companies penetrating niche markets.

Can you provide us with some examples of project cargoes that you handled to/from Turkey and/or the Black Sea?

Below, you will find some important projects we have handled;

What do you personally like about freight forwarding and shipping?

Even if I have spent 20 years in logistics and worked in different fields, I still find something to learn everyday which I believe is the most motivating part of the industry.

When did you start you career in this line of business and why?

I started my career in 1997 in Catoni. I do not remember any specific reason for choosing transportation/logistics in those days, but I can easily say that this is not something I regret nowadays. I can name myself as a “Catoni product” which is something common in our organisation, as human resource circulation is at minimum levels considering the market standards.

Can you organise transshipment via Turkey to Georgia, Iraq etc? If that is possible how and what gateways are being used?

Yes we can. Transshipments on the following routes are some of Catoni’s core activities in the areas we operate;
– via Turkey to Caucasus countries (Georgia or Azerbaijan)
– via Turkey to North Iraq
– via Georgia to other Caucasus countries and beyond the Caspian to the central asian countries

Whom to approach in Catoni for a quotation or to learn more about your company?

The following persons can be approached for a quotation or to learn more about Catoni:
Erman ATİK –
George KILE –

George Kile
Business Development
Catoni Group