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Intermodal TIR operation saves five days compared to rail-only
Bandar Abbas

First intermodal TIR operation containing rail, maritime and road legs

22 Nov 2017

The first successful intermodal TIR customs transit system operation involving road, sea and rail on a corridor linking Europe to the Middle East has demonstrated a 5-day time saving, with significant potential to reduce costs and boost trade. 

Starting in Slovenia’s Ljublana and arriving in Bandar Abbas in Iran, the container transited through Italy and Turkey, crossing the Mediterranean. 

Demonstrating TIR as the best transit tool for the long-haul intermodal transport of goods, the pilot initiative highlights the potential for full cross-modal operations in this and other regions. 

Newly ratified countries in particular, can benefit from the intermodal standard at the outset of TIR implementation. 

The streamlined operation was successfully coordinated by IRU member, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (ICCIMA) in cooperation with Iranian Customs, and included a road leg from Slovenia to Italy, followed by a sea crossing from the port of Trieste in Italy to the port of Mersin in Turkey.

On arrival at the port of Mersin, the container was loaded onto rail, through to the Iranian customs office at Razi, where TIR was reactivated, and continued until the Sahlan Customs office and rail terminal in Iran (around 100 km from Razi) where the container was placed onto an Iranian truck and continued its journey to the destination port of Bandar Abbas. 

First intermodal TIR operation saves five days compared to rail-only

The use of TIR IT tools significantly facilitated the intermodal transport operation and further enhanced security, while Customs Authorities were able to perform advance risk assessment of the cargo. 

The cooperation between representatives of the Customs Authorities, IRU Member Associations, transport companies and IRU, is an example of a successful public-private alliance to facilitate trade across the region. 

The intermodal transport operation was co- organised by GIZ Intertransport member, Slovenian TIR Carnet Holder VIT LOGISTIKA d.o.o. (WIT LOGISTICS SLOVENIA)  and ICCIMA member, the Iranian freight forwarding and transport company, Rahanjam International

First TIR intermodal operation

In order to make the intermodal corridor fully operational, Iranian Customs opened a Customs office in Razi for the use of TIR and accepted TIR both as a transit document and a guarantee  for transport of the goods during the rail leg.

Next steps will include cooperation with customs, rail authorities and transport operators along the corridor, to build on the success of this first milestone to streamline systems for the use of TIR across multiple modes of transport. 


Karen Mazzoli 
Senior Manager, Media and Communications, IRU 
+41-22-918 27 96 (direct)
+41-79-633 89 53 (mobile)


About TIR
TIR is the only global customs transit system for moving goods across international borders. Supporting trade and development for more than 60 years, TIR is governed by the United Nations TIR Convention, overseen by UNECE, and managed by IRU. TIR stands for “Transports Internationaux Routiers”. One of the most successful international transport conventions, TIR makes border crossings faster, more secure and more efficient, reducing transport costs, and boosting trade and development.

About the intermodal transport of goods under TIR
The TIR Convention allows for the intermodal transport of goods provided that at least one leg of the journey is carried out by road. As long as a portion of the journey between the beginning and the end of a TIR transport is made by road, other modes of transport (railways, inland waterways, etc.) can be used. During a non-road leg, the TIR guarantee can be either suspended or continued. When suspended, TIR transport can be seamlessly resumed at the customs office situated at the end of the non-road leg.

About the use of TIR IT tools for the intermodal operation
The use of TIR IT tools significantly facilitated the transport operation and further enhanced its security. Thanks to the use of TIR-EPD, the TIR Carnet Holder sent electronic pre-declarations to all the countries along the itinerary free of charge with a possibility to follow the status allocated to EPD in real time. Furthermore, the use of TIR-EPD enabled the Customs Authorities to perform advance risk assessment of the cargo transported under TIR. Through the use of RTS (Real Time SafeTIR), the termination data was transmitted by the customs authorities when the TIR journey completed.