The TIR system now connects Uzbekistan to China’s coastal city of Qingdao, offering a new fast, cost-effective and secure trade route.
Uzbek TIR trucks carrying blackcurrants departed from Samarkand and transited Kazakhstan before entering China through Khorgos and transversing across the country to Qingdao.
It also marks the first time that an Uzbek truck has completed its operation in hinterland China.
IRU Chief Representative of East and Southeast Asia Yan Zhou said, "We are pleased to partner with Qingdao customs and local transport authorities to facilitate the opening of the new Samarkand-Qingdao TIR transport.
“The new route provides a faster, more cost-effective and secure door-to-door delivery option compared with rail and air.”
Trains typically have a waiting time of up to three months, while door-to-door delivery via road takes around 10 days.
Qingdao is strategically located at the start of the Maritime Silk Road, which links the overland Belt and Road Initiative with key ports and airports.
Last week, IRU members, transport companies, development organisations and financial institutions gathered in Uzbekistan for a roundtable discussion on cross-border trade and transit with China.
It followed a key regional conference organised by IRU member the Association of International Road Carriers of Uzbekistan (AIRCUZ) on the occasion of its 30th anniversary, in partnership with IRU, in Tashkent.
The conference explored pressing transport and transit challenges and emerging opportunities in the region. There was also 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.