A simulation-based approach for improving the largest border crossing between Europe and Turkey

ÜLENGİN F., Cekyay B., Isik M., ÖZAYDIN Ö., Kabak Ö. , TOKTAŞ PALUT P., ...More

TRANSPORT POLICY, vol.114, pp.350-363, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 114
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2021.10.011
  • Title of Journal : TRANSPORT POLICY
  • Page Numbers: pp.350-363
  • Keywords: Process analysis, Simulation, Policy suggestion, Border crossing, TRADE, TRANSPORTATION, GRAVITY, CANADA, MODEL


Kapikule border crossing, connecting Turkey to Bulgaria, is one of the largest customs gates at Europe via road transportation. Although it has a high capacity and large land area, there occurs long delays in the custom services due to inefficient operations resulting with long queues of trucks and long service times. To overcome this problem, in this study we investigated the strategies that could be implemented to increase the efficiency of the Kapikule border crossing. In-depth interviews were conducted with the Kapikule customs gate authorities to determine the process flows. The current situation at the gate was analysed using discrete event simulation. Furthermore, several improvement scenarios were tested to identify those that will have the highest impact on reducing the queues and delays at the border. As a result, specific suggestions were delivered for the import and export processes. According to the results, Turkey's export to European countries by road is expected to increase by at least 5% by the suggested improvements made at the Kapikule Border.