For the first time in September this year, a truck carrying cargo was allowed to cross over to India from Bangladesh without requiring the consignment to be unloaded and transferred to another truck. Known as transhipment, this has been the time consuming and costly practice of border crossing norms until today.
This was the result of many months of lobbying efforts between the two countries under the newly signed BBIN Motor Vehicles Assignment reached between India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. As part of the first trail, cargo belonging to a leading UK retailer was handled by EFL (Expo Freight) – a subcontinent based forwarder who has offices in both Bangladesh and India.
Under the new terms trucks traveling between the four countries via land are no longer required to have cargo trans-shipped during travel, drastically reducing the time taken to transport goods across borders. The agreement could alleviate port congestion, lengthy transit times, warehousing costs and processing times at the border as logistics companies take advantage of this agreement and provide speedier services to clients.
Industry experts predict that the agreement will effectively reduce transit time for cargo trucks by approximately three days, and overall logistics costs by up to 20%. Moreover, transforming what are traditionally perceived as transport corridors into economic corridors could potentially increase intra-regional trade within South Asia by almost 60% and with the rest of the world by over 30%. The trucks now follow a new Customs inspection and verification procedure using the E-Seal, which can be affixed to the vehicle at the beginning of the journey. These trucks can be monitored via GPS, so that customers can track the much faster movement of their cargo. This streamlined solution will continue to offer complete visibility to global customers sourcing from the region.
The Ministries of External Affairs and Road Transportation and Highways in the two countries were instrumental in the agreement’s success and ceremonies were held in Dhaka and Delhi to celebrate this milestone achievement.