The first pilot transportation of goods carried out by semi-trailer along the TRACECA corridor


The Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA, Mr A.A. Assavbayev for the first time shared the preliminary results of the pilot transportation of goods by semi-trailers during a business mission held in Lithuania from 15 to 16 June this year.

Pilot transportation of goods in semi-trailer by truck tractors of different countries of registration was carried out along the multimodal route Lithuania - Poland - Slovakia - Hungary - Romania - Bulgaria – the Black Sea - Georgia - Azerbaijan – the Caspian Sea - Kazakhstan and took 16 days.

This transportation became possible with the support of the authorized ministries in the field of transport of Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Lithuania, as well as with the active involvement of the customs authorities and the seaports of Varna, Batumi, Baku and Kuryk. The idea of carrying out the first pilot transport is the final stage of preparing a survey on the development of transport by semi-trailers, which will soon be sent to all TRACECA countries.

On May 25, 2023, the transportation of the semi-trailer began with a truck tractor registered in Lithuania from Vilnius and continued through the territories of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and to the port of Varna in Bulgaria. The travel time across the territories of the EU countries, excluding stops, was 37 hours (May 25-28 this year).

On May 30 this year the semi-trailer without a tractor was sent to the port of Batumi through the shipping company Navigation Maritime Bulgare.

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Today, 2 Bulgarian shipping companies operate on the Black Sea from the ports of Varna and Burgas, on average, every 9-10 days the ship makes a round trip. The cost of transporting one semi-trailer from Bulgaria to Georgia is 1950 euros. Port dues in both Bulgaria and Georgia are included in the price of the ferry ticket.

After 3 days, the semi-trailer arrived at the port, where the carrier, registered in Georgia, continued to transport the semi-trailer in the direction of the port of Baku, which took about 6 days, considering the accumulation of vehicles at the Red Bridge checkpoint. Thus, on June 8 this year the semi-trailer without a tractor was sent to the port of Kuryk on the vessel "Azerbaijan", owned by CJSC "Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company".

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Transportation through the Caspian Sea amounted to 1295 US dollars, including port dues in the port of Baku and sea freight.

Transportation of goods by semi-trailers has great potential in providing a cheaper mode of transportation of goods, since during the transportation of a semi-trailer on a ship there is no need to pay wages and travel expenses to the driver, no need to obtain visas for the driver, and the transportation by sea itself is cheaper than transporting a cargo vehicle (truck tractor with a semi-trailer).  

The two main obstacles in the development of this type of transport today are the limited application of the provisions of the TIR Convention in relation to subcontracted transport and the need to obtain permits. Of all the countries on the route, only 5 out of 14 countries have the opportunity to use TIR under a subcontracting agreement, that is, when changing the carrier to the destination.

At the same time, the Permanent Secretariat has worked out steps for the development of these transportation, including the further shipment of semi-trailers by rail (piggyback transport).

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Permanent Secretaritat of the IGC TRACECA