The first Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) journey by road from China to Europe has been hailed as a success by the International Road Transport Union (IRU) which claimed that it proves the system’s cost, time and security advantages.
Customs transit systems under the TIR procedure (operated by the IRU) are designed to simplify the transport of goods and to provide necessary customs security and guarantees.
TIR has 75 contracting parties and is governed by the United Nations TIR Convention.
The first TIR truck transport from China to Europe started its 7000-kilometre journey at the Khorgos border, entering Kazakhstan and travelling through Russia and Belarus to Poland in just 13 days. This is, the IRU said, a door-to-door cost and delivery time that is competitive with both air and rail.
It highlighted that the journey — a joint effort between IRU and global leading logistics companies including Alblas International Logistics as the operator — was completed without any disruption or customs issues.
IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto said: “It will boost trade between China and Europe, which will help China and the countries along the Belt and Road route to reap the economic and development rewards of international road transport. It is also a wakeup call to European hauliers — who can seize the opportunity to benefit from round trip operations.”
In September 2018, Kazakhstan and China opened the new border crossing at Khorgos to boost transport and trade along the new Western China to Western Europe 8445 kilometre expressway — part of China’s Belt and Road project.
The World Bank predicts the corridor will more than double road freight volumes between China and Europe.