Arkas was founded in Izmir in 1902 by Gabriel J.B. Arcas. Lucien Gabriel Arcas continued his father’s profession as the second generation of the family until 1944 with a company that he called “Gabriel J.B Arcas Halefi Lucien Gabriel Arcas”. Lucien Gabriel entered the shipping industry in 1944 by founding a shipping agency in his own name.
In 1964, the leadership of the company was passed on to Lucien Arkas, the third generation of the family, who now serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Arkas Holding. Arkas is a company that has been in existence since the beginning of the 1900s and currently operates in many different fields, including logistics services that integrate sea, land, rail and air transportation, agency services, ship operations, port operations, bunkering, automotive, insurance services, information systems and cruise ship tourism.
Arkas Holding currently has 38 offices, 13 in Turkey and 20 in other countries (Greece, Italy, Monaco, Spain, France, Portugal, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan). Arkas employs 6,700 people in Turkey and outside of Turkey in 61 different companies.
Arkas is a partner (MSC, Hapag Lloyd, Yang Ming and Tarros SPA) or a representative (Hanjin Shipping, Grimaldi Lines, ACL, Marguisa Line, DAL and UAFL) for 10 world-class companies in Turkey. Arkas has also maintained a partnership with DB Schenker, the leading overland and rail transporter in Europe, since 1995. Arkas represents shipping companies such as Arkas Line, Hapag Lloyd, Yang Ming, Hanjin Shipping, Grimaldi Lines, Tarros, DAL and UAFL from its offices abroad as well as in Turkey. Arkas also represents shipping companies like Hamburg Süd, PIL CCNI, OOCL, UOL and BDP in foreign countries only.
In addition to representing international shipping companies, Arkas has also been building a fleet of vessels since 1996, and its Merchant Marine Fleet currently boasts 34 vessels that make up Turkey’s container vessel fleet. The fleet also includes 5 bunker barges. Arkas Bunkering, which was founded in 2006, uses these bunker barges for safe and quick refueling services for shipping vessels in many ports around the world, including the Mediterranean and Black Seas.
In 1996 Arkas founded the shipping company EMES Shipping and Transport SA in order to operate the first container shipping line in the private sector made up of Turkish-flag vessels, and it now operates under the name of Arkas Container Transport (Arkas Line). Arkas Line provides scheduled service in the Mediterranean and Black Seas with Turkish-flag container vessels in the Arkas fleet.
In many ways, Arkas has been a pioneer in the private port operations sector. In 2001, Arkas founded Marport (with an annual capacity of 2,000,000 TEU), the first private container port in Turkey. In 2008, Arkas opened Autoport (annual capacity of 400,000 vehicles) in Izmit, the first automotive port in Turkey.
The Arkas logistics services group provides a service chain of integrated logistics by combining five companies in different areas of operation (Arkas Logistics, Arkas Transport, Ar-Gu, Ardep and Arfor) with a common goal. Arkas Transport provides overland container transport, Ar-Gu provides rail transport services and Ardep provides warehousing services, while Arfor and Arkas Logistics provide supply chain management, resulting in efficient combined services that meet all the customer’s foreign and domestic transportation needs.
Since 1998, Arkasair has been offering VIP air transportation services in order to meet the ever-expanding transportation needs of businessmen who are traveling further distances. Arkasair is the first company in Turkey to obtain ISO 9001 certification for VIP passenger transportation and air taxi services with private airplanes, and has a fleet of two aircraft. Arkasair is able to reach many locations around the world, including Paris, Peking, Sydney, Cape Town, Moscow and Washington.
MSC Cruises is Europe’s largest cruise company and had been operating in Turkey since 2005 through a partnership with Arkas Holding.