What the IRU has called the "first successful intermodal TIR customs transit system operation involving road, sea and rail on a corridor linking Europe to the Middle East has demonstrated a 5-day time saving, with significant potential to reduce costs and boost trade."
Starting in Slovenia’s Ljublana and arriving in Bandar Abbas in Iran, the container transited through Italy and Turkey, crossing the Mediterranean.
"Demonstrating TIR as the best transit tool for the long-haul intermodal transport of goods, the pilot initiative highlights the potential for full cross-modal operations in this and other regions.
"Newly ratified countries in particular, can benefit from the intermodal standard at the outset of TIR implementation. The streamlined operation was successfully coordinated by IRU member, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (ICCIMA) in cooperation with Iranian Customs, and included a road leg from Slovenia to Italy, followed by a sea crossing from the port of Trieste in Italy to the port of Mersin in Turkey."
On arrival at the port of Mersin, the container was loaded onto rail, through to the Iranian customs office at Razi, where TIR was reactivated, and continued until the Sahlan Customs office and rail terminal in Iran (around 100 km from Razi) where the container was placed onto an Iranian truck and continued its journey to the destination port of Bandar Abbas.
The use of TIR IT tools facilitated the intermodal transport operation and further enhanced security, while Customs Authorities were able to perform advance risk assessment of the cargo.
"The cooperation between representatives of the Customs Authorities, IRU Member Associations, transport companies and IRU, is an example of a successful public-private alliance to facilitate trade across the region. GIZ Intertransport supported the project and the road leg was performed by the Slovenian TIR operator, Logistika d.o.o.
The remaining intermodal combination of maritime, rail and road transport was organised by ICCIMA member, the Iranian forwarder, Rahanjam International.
In order to make the intermodal corridor fully operational, Iranian Customs opened a Customs office in Razi for the use of TIR and accepted responsibility for TIR both as a transit guarantee and a guarantee instrument for transport of the goods during the rail leg.
Next steps will include cooperation with customs, rail authorities and transport operators along the corridor, to build on the success of this first milestone to streamline systems for the use of TIR across multiple modes of transport.