Following the successful TIR pilot operation from Bandar Abbas (Iran) to Tajikistan via Afghanistan, November 2019, for the first time a test run of the ECO Kyrgyz-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Iran (KTAI) road corridor has commenced from the Iranian border crossing of Dogharun, on Sunday 26 July 2020. Therefore, the entire KTAI road corridor is now open for TIR transports.
The test run launched through partnership with the International Road Transport Union (IRU) operates under the framework of the TIR Convention and is based on the decision of the 4th ECO High Level Expert Group (HLEG) meeting on the KTAI Road corridor (25 November 2019, Tehran). The new trade route opens up the region to trade and development, and will enable freight forwarders and transport operators to benefit from significant cost and time savings when transporting goods.
The test run of loaded trucks under TIR Carnets, includes seven trucks carrying cargo worth around 85 thousand USD. The trucks have started their journey from Dogharun with 2 heading for the city of Osh in the Kyrgyz Republic and 5 to the capital city of Dushanbe in Tajikistan.
As the shortest possible route between Iran and Kyrgyzstan, the launch of the KTAI corridor would tap into the growing markets of the ECO Region. According to the World Bank the total population of the four countries along the corridor stands at more than 128 million people and their combined total GDP equals close to half a trillion USD.
The success of the Test Run, will further push ECO-proven good practices of TIR operation toward sustainable levels. All that acquires a particular sense especially given that road transport under TIR has been estimated by the IRU to be up to ten times cheaper than transport by air.
Given the route’s starting point of ECO ports in Persian Gulf and Oman Sea, traders and transport operators can also opt to take advantage of the intermodal functions of TIR along the Corridor, optimizing trade flows and driving growth in the ECO region.