First China-Europe road freight trip completed

After more than six months of preparation, CEVA Logistics Greater China has sent the first ever road freight shipment from Khorgos, China via Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus to Poland (7000 km journey) using the international customs transit system TIR.

The trial run was successfully operated as a joint initiative between CEVA Logistics, the International Road Transportation Union (IRU), and CEVA\’s partners Alblas and Jet-rail.


The truck arrived in Poland on 24 November with no disruption or customs issues after 11 days on the road. The closing TIR at its final destination was after 13 days on 26 November.

CEVA said the new road service would deliver a cost saving of about 50% compared to air freight options. And with a door-to-door lead time of 10-15 days , it will be 30-50% faster than rail.

TIR is the only global customs transit system for moving goods across international borders. It has 74 contracting parties and is governed by the United Nations TIR Convention and managed by RU.

The option of China-Europe road freight using the international customs transit system TIR only became possible in May, when TIR got implemented in China.  This move is expected to contribute to the success of China\’s so called \”Belt and Road Initiative\” to expand the country\’s logistics hinterland.

Torben Bengtsson, executive vice president of CEVA Logistics Greater China foresees a great future for road transport from China to Europe. He said:  “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.”

Umberto de Pretto, IRU Secretary General, 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 transport 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. It is also a wake up call to European hauliers, who can seize the opportunity to benefit from round-trip operations.”

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