CEVA Logistics Greater China has sent the first ever TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) truck from Khorgos, China via Kazakhstan to Europe, a 7,000 km, 13-day journey. As an alternative to more expensive air freight and slower rail options, CEVA expects to offer a regular service as early as possible in 2019.
The trial run, after more than six months preparation, took place on 13 November and was successfully operated as a joint initiative between CEVA Logistics, the IRU (International Road Transportation Union) and CEVA’s partners Alblas and Jet-rail.
The Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) is a multilateral treaty that was concluded at Geneva on 14 November 1975 to simplify and harmonise the administrative formalities of international road transport. As of November 2018, there are 75 parties to the Convention, including 74 states and the European Union.
The TIR Convention establishes an international customs transit system with maximum facility to move goods: In sealed vehicles or containers; from a customs office of departure in one country to a customs office of destination in another country; without requiring extensive and time-consuming border checks at intermediate borders; while, at the same time, providing customs authorities with the required security and guarantees.
The truck arrived in Poland on 24 November, with no disruption or Customs issues after 11 days on the road. CEVA says the new road service will deliver cost savings of about 50 per cent compared to air options and with a lead time door-to-door of between 10 to 15 days, it is 30-50 per cent faster than rail.
Umberto de Pretto, IRU secretary general says the successful trial using the new TIR Customs agreement, “is also a wakeup call to European hauliers who can seize the opportunity to benefit from round trip operations.”
Kelvin Tang, director Road & Rail at CEVA Logistics Greater China comments: “This is a day to remember. Together with our partners, we have trialed TIR all the way to Europe today the very first time.”
CEVA says the service will be a significant contributing factor to the success of the Belt & Road Initiative in the near future, facilitated by the international customs transit system TIR, which became active for the People’s Republic of China in May 2018.
“Since then we started to investigate the possibility and feasibility of road transportation from China to Europe in order to find an alternative to the escalating air freight market,” says Torben Bengtsson, executive vice president of CEVA Logistics Greater China.
“Thanks to the implementation of the TIR system this year, and the great support of IRU, the Research Institute of Highway Ministry of Transport (RIOH), and the Xinjiang government, we were able to make this trial run happen together with our partners Jet-rail International Transportation in Shanghai and Alblas International Logistics in the Netherlands.
“The trial proves that the TIR carnet issued in China is accepted in the transit countries en-route to Europe. The Government, IRU, RIOH and many other parties worked together to remove barriers and uncertainties.
“As a result we foresee a great future for road transportation from China to Europe. We have a lot of customers waiting for the start of a regular service. During the coming weeks we will work on some small details of the service and then prepare to start regular operations as early as possible in 2019,” Torben Bengtsson adds.
De Pretto, congratulated CEVA Logistics and its partners on the success of the trial: “This first TIR journey by road from China to Europe is a win-win-win model for business, trade and governments and will be a game changer for cross border transportation in China.
“It shows that the system is secure and also highly competitive in terms of cost and time relative to other modes of transport on similar routes. It will boost trade between China and Europe, which will help China and the countries along the Belt & Road route to reap the economic and development rewards of international road transport.