Cross-border transportation


The term "cross-border transportation" is no longer unfamiliar to those involved in the logistics and transportation industry. Cross-border transportation, or the transportation of goods through intermodal transportation, is receiving attention from businesses and government agencies. So, what is cross-border transportation? Let's explore the details of ALS in the following article.

I. What is Cross-Border Transportation?

Cross-border transportation refers to the international transportation of goods using road, air, or sea routes.

Cross-border transportation is a form that transcends the boundaries of a country/territory, with the starting point in one country and the endpoint in another. Unlike maritime or air transportation, cross-border transportation often utilizes road, waterway, or rail routes between neighboring countries. Cross-border transportation can also refer to transporting goods from one country to an adjacent country or a third country.

Currently, Vietnam shares borders with three countries, China, Laos, and Cambodia, and owns a long coastline with many seaports. Therefore, developing cross-border transportation to transport goods from Vietnam to these three countries or transit goods through Vietnam from other countries is a top development strategy of logistics.

II. The Role of Cross-Border Transportation in Logistics Activities

After understanding the definition of cross-border transportation, let's examine its role. With its geographical advantages, Vietnam consistently plays a significant role as an intermediary country in accessing cross-border transportation: 

Cross-border transportation enables businesses to transport goods quickly and cost-effectively compared to air transportation. Therefore, cross-border transportation is experiencing strong development and preference over other modes.

Cross-border transportation facilitates swift commodity transactions, driving the economies of developing countries.

Catching up with solid demands, many logistics companies have delivered services with the following routes:

Cross-border road transportation of full-container loads (FCL) and less-than-container loads (LCL) from Vietnam to Laos and vice versa.

Cross-border road transportation of FCL and LCL to China and vice versa.

Cross-border transportation of FCL and LCL from Vietnam to Cambodia and vice versa.

III. Challenges of Cross-Border Transportation

As with other transportation models, both the advantages and challenges of this form of transportation are of interest to many people.

ALS will summarize the common challenges encountered when choosing cross-border transportation:

The most significant limitation is infrastructure and information technology. Currently, applying information technology to monitor transportation still faces many difficulties.

Regarding infrastructure to handle goods between countries, there are still many limitations, such as handling equipment, container scanning, container truck yards, cold storage warehouses, and vehicle repair facilities.

There is an imbalance in goods volume between countries, with more goods flowing into Vietnam than vice versa routes. This imbalance causes logistics not to utilize vehicle vacancies, leading to increased costs.

IV. China to Complete High-Speed Rail Line to Vietnam-China Border

China recently set up the first direct high-speed rail line to the Vietnam-China border on August 8, 2023.

According to CGTN, China has laid a 500-meter stretch of rail on the high-speed rail line between Fangcheng Port and Dongxing in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The Fangcheng Port - Dongxing high-speed rail line is the first high-speed rail line that runs directly to the China-Vietnam border, currently in its final construction stages and expected to open by the end of this year, according to the website of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region government.

The 46.9 km rail line is designed for speeds of up to 200 km/h. Infrastructure is being developed to increase the speed to 250 km/h. Tunnel construction is completed, and bridge construction is 97% finished.

At the western end of the rail line is the newly constructed Dongxing Station, located on the east bank of the Beilun River - the border waterway between China and Vietnam.

This rail line will primarily handle passenger transportation and facilitate cross-border freight transportation.

Source (09/08/2023):

V. The first-ever round-trip railway connecting China, Laos, and Thailand has recently commenced operations earlier this month.

The first-ever round-trip railway connecting China, Laos, and Thailand has recently commenced operations earlier this month.

Moreover, Cambodia announced plans to build a high-speed railway from Phnom Penh to Poi Pet this February, adjacent to Thailand. Cambodia is also keen not to miss the opportunity to expand its connections with the Chinese market.

Meanwhile, in Vietnam, on February 18, the Kep station in Bac Giang province was granted permission to pilot international intermodal operations. This is a step towards realizing the Vietnam Railway Network Development Plan until 2030, aiming to achieve seamless connectivity for international intermodal railway lines.

The plan also urgently calls for the commencement of several new railway lines. Priority is given to constructing railway lines connecting international gateway ports, especially in Hai Phong and Ba Ria - Vung Tau, connecting Ho Chi Minh City with Can Tho, and connecting internationally with Laos and Cambodia.

Thus, the railway network in Vietnam will be connected across Asia, linking Asia with Europe via Chinese railways at the border gates of Dong Dang (Lang Son) and Lao Cai and connecting with the ASEAN railway network.

Source (27/02/2023):

VI. Iran and Iraq have commenced the construction of a cross-border railway line to enhance connectivity and cooperation between the two countries.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA reported that Iran and Iraq held a groundbreaking ceremony on September 2 for a joint railway project in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, Iran.

According to IRNA, this event marks the beginning of construction of a 32km railway line connecting the city of Shalamcheh in Khuzestan province, Iran, to the port of Basra in southern Iraq.

IRNA stated that Iran and Iraq will each construct 16km of railway track (half of the total length of the railway line) within their respective territories, and the railway line is expected to be operational in 18 months.

Source (03/09/2023):

Through the above article, we have helped answer the question of cross-border transportation. Along with that is some important information related to this type of transportation. If you need services related to cross-border transportation and air logistics services, please get in touch with ALS for advice.

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