IRU members, transport companies, development organisations and financial institutions are gathering in Uzbekistan for a key regional conference on pressing transport and transit challenges and emerging opportunities.
Rapid technological advances, geopolitical uncertainty and decarbonisation are redefining road transport in all regions. Landlocked countries are striving to maintain and further develop their hard-won status as landlinked.
Next week’s conference, titled “International Road Transport: Driving Resilience and Prosperity”, will explore regional connectivity, transport and transit along east-west and north-south corridors, chronic commercial driver shortages, and trade and transit digitalisation.
IRU is working with public authorities and organisations in the region to improve the efficiency, security and transparency of cross-border trade and transit. Landlocked countries cannot achieve sustainable development without robust multimodal transport corridors and infrastructure. Disruptions to trade links have shifted many corridors, putting additional pressure on already congested border crossings.
Hard infrastructure needs to be coupled with soft infrastructure – the processes, rules and services that support efficient transport. In collaboration with development partners, IRU has helped Uzbekistan and neighbouring countries to lead the way in digitalising trade and transit.
The conference, hosted by IRU member the Association of International Road Carriers of Uzbekistan (AIRCUZ) on the occasion of its 30th anniversary, in partnership with IRU, is taking place on 13 September 2023.
On 14 and 15 September, participants can also attend a special tour of the ancient city of Khiva, a walled Silk Road city, and a roundtable discussion on cross-border trade and transit with China.
With TIR, the only global transit system, door-to-door, long-distance road freight transport with China is five to ten times cheaper than by air, two to three times faster than by sea, and nearly twice as fast as by rail. TIR also cuts China leg transport times by two to three days and costs by up to 50%.
New Industry Shapers and 75th celebrations
The conference will also feature a special session celebrating IRU’s 75th anniversary with development, trade and transport figures, as well as IRU’s “New Industry Shapers” from the region.
The New Industry Shapers project features a wide range of unique individuals from mobility and logistics operators, associations and suppliers, as well as drivers, researchers and public sector innovators who are leading the road transport sector into the future.
On 23 March 2023, IRU celebrated its 75th anniversary, eyeing mobility and logistics opportunities that lie ahead. Working closely with its members, the UN and other global and regional authorities, IRU has pioneered many global road transport standards, from transporting dangerous goods to digitalising the legal framework for road freight operations.
With 75 years of “on-the-ground” experience supported by its membership base, IRU is advising and working with governments, customs authorities and development partners across the region to improve trade facilitation.