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Mongolia’s rough roads

Ulaanbaatar > Mumbai

Mongolia’s rough roads

10 Sep 2018 Ulaanbaatar > Mumbai

by David Couliau

A bumpy ride

In Ulaanbaatar, Tugsbadrakh, who works for North Trans LLC, the first international Mongolian transport company, heads a convoy of four trucks going to the Russian border to deliver fruit and vegetables.

With its sunsets, its yurts and its infinite steppe, Mongolia’s landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful. But its roads are chaotic. During the seven hours it takes to reach the border, on extremely bumpy routes, with only two lanes, the path is often blocked by sheep, cows or horses. A highway is supposed to be built soon, but in the meantime, this road is the only pass. 

Amazing passion

Tugsbadrakh knows these roads inside out, he’s taken them more than a hundred times. He’s a shy and humble man, but he’s one of the best drivers in the country and has even won several truck driving prizes. 

Until now, only IRU’s TIR has made his life a little bit easier: at the Russian border, trucks are fully X-rayed in only 3 minutes. The company’s 22 trucks have been using it since 2016. 

It’s tough to be a driver in this region, as the calloused hands and wrinkled faces of these drivers show, but they never complain. They love what they do.

Batkhuu Gavaa

« In order to activate the Asian Highway network – connecting China and Russia via Mongolia’s key transport corridors - the use of the adopted, internationally recognised TIR system is the most efficient means and the best way forward. »

Batkhuu Gavaa, President of the National Road Transport Association of Mongolia

Key figures

  • Distance from Geneva

    21790 km

  • Days to IRU World Congress, Muscat


  • Countries visited so far


Hear more about challenges and opportunities for the industry at the IRU World Congress

Ulaanbaatar > Mumbai