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The road is open

Shanghai > Ulaanbaatar

The road is open

3 Sep 2018 Shanghai > Ulaanbaatar

by David Couliau

On the road, to a new world

In Shanghai, I met He, a truck driver with more than 20 years of experience. As China’s road industry has grown in the last decades, his love for the road has become even stronger.

Since he was a child, he wanted to become a driver and in his family this profession has been passed on from father to son for several generations. 

The expansive transport improvements across the country have made him happier to have chosen this path. He takes pride in the fact that he has never been involved in a road accident and he is confident that he will keep his safety record, seeing as the roads are getting safer every year. 

Driving into the future

China’s road freight transport is more connected and high-tech than ever. A well-known domestic cargo transport dispatch platform called Yunmanman (YMM) instantly connects cargo owners and truck drivers like He. In YMM’s app, everyone has a profile, gets rated and the truck drivers can be tracked in real time, across the country.

The fact that his homeland is opening up due to the Belt and Road Initiative as well as the adoption of the TIR customs transit system, gives hope to He who would love to drive beyond Chinese borders to discover new worlds and new nations.

Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General of IRU

« TIR is set to transform China’s links with its neighbours, bringing benefits across the region and facilitating the goals of the Belt and Road initiative. The start of TIR operations last May sent a strong signal to the world that China is opening up its markets and connecting more efficiently across its borders. »

Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General of IRU

Key figures

  • Distance from Geneva

    17361 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

Shanghai > Ulaanbaatar