CEVA Logistics sends successful ‘TIR’ truck from China to Europe

The original “Silk Road” between China and Europe is hardly a new form of overland travel, but CEVA Logistics Greater China is reconsidering the ancient trade route as an alternate mode of long-haul cargo transport that may be competitive to rail, ocean and even airfreight.

On Monday, CEVA completed a trial run of its first “Transports Internationaux Routiers” (TIR) truck from Khorgos, China to Europe. The TIR procedure, an international customs transit system, first became active for the People’s Republic of China in May of this year, as a contributing facet to the country’s Belt & Road initiative.

Following six months of preparation, CEVA Logistics Greater China conducted a successful trial run on Nov. 13 of its first

The TIR truck was operated as a joint initiative between CEVA Logistics, the International Road Transportation Union (IRU) and CEVA’s partners Alblas International Logistics and third-party courier Jet-rail International Transport. The truck, customs-approved in Khorgos, began its 7,000-kilometer journey on Nov. 13, passing througha Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus before arriving in Poland on Nov. 24. The truck ultimately arrived at its final destination on Nov. 26, with no disruption or customs issues.

According to CEVA, the new road service will deliver cost savings of about 50 percent compared to air options. With a door-to-door lead time of between 10 to 15 days, TIR will also allegedly be 30 to 50 percent faster than railfreight.

“The trial proves that the TIR carnet issued in China is accepted in the transit countries en-route to Europe,” said Torben Bengtsson, executive vice president of CEVA Logistics Greater China. The company also said that the trial shows the system is secure, while being highly competitive in terms of cost and time, relative to other modes of transportation on similar routes, making TIR a game-changer for cross-border transportation from China.

CEVA Logistics Greater China said it has customers waiting for the start of regular service, which it plans to begin operating in early 2019.

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