With TIR usage growing in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, transport operators are increasingly seeing the benefits of the reduced transport times and lower costs that the system brings.
TIR is the only global customs transit system. It enables goods to be shipped from a country of origin, through transit countries, to a country of destination in secure sealed load compartments via a multilateral, mutually recognised system backed by a UN convention.
Kuehne+Nagel have recently started using TIR for their operations in the Middle East. We spoke to them about how it has affected their operations.
How are TIR and TIR-EPD electronic customs pre-declarations helping Kuehne+Nagel reduce transport times?
TIR has cut transport times on some routes by 25%, with the usual waiting time at the United Arab Emirates – Saudi Arabia border reduced from an average of two to three days to less than one. Sending TIR-EPD electronic customs pre-declarations lets us know in advance if customs have received our pre-alert and if they have started pre-clearance. This allows us to inform our drivers about the expected clearance time before they arrive at the border.
What are the security and efficiency benefits for your business of transporting goods in sealed compartments under TIR?
The TIR plate of a truck is like a certificate of conformity to high security standards. It is clearly identified by authorities and it makes them confident that the truck has remained sealed throughout the trip. It also gives us and our customers an assurance that the goods are fully protected from pickup to delivery.
How is TIR helping you to reduce transport costs?
TIR is helping to reduce our costs in several ways, mostly related to shorter transport times. Firstly, it reduces the time that drivers spend on the road with their engines running, whether driving or not, therefore reducing fuel consumption per trip.
Secondly, it increases the trucks’ utilisation rates, as trucks can make more trips per month, thus bringing down the cost per trip. Lastly, it reduces the demurrage and detention fees that we sometimes used to pay for reasons beyond our control.
Where are you using TIR? Has it been easy to implement?
Currently, we use TIR for trucking to Saudi Arabia only, but we are planning to use it for the Oman route as well in the near future. The process is very easy since we input all data in one single document - the TIR carnet - which is also sent via TIR-EPD before the truck departs, thereby notifying customs about the imminent arrival of the TIR truck.
Have TIR and its digital tools made it easier to organise and prepare for transports?
Yes. TIR-EPD enables us to avoid sending emails to agents, as there is no need for a broker.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience with TIR?
TIR has proven to be a simple and secure transit solution, and we cannot wait to see it implemented in more countries in the region soon.