The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy (TTFS) and its Action Plan, which focus on the development of six priority CAREC corridors, mandate that performance be measured and monitored periodically to ascertain the current situation along the links and nodes of each corridor, identify bottlenecks, and determine courses of action to address these bottlenecks.
Currently based on a modified Time/Cost Distance (TCD) Methodology using survey instruments, associations of freight forwarders and road carriers in each CAREC country are engaged to collect time and cost data on a regular basis. The methodology allows policy makers and road carriers / freight forwarders to:
- analyze the factors that affect the cost and time required to transport goods using certain routes;
- compare ― over a period of time ― the changes in costs and/or time required to transport goods on a certain route;
- compare and evaluate competing modes of transport operating on the same route; and
- consider alternative transit routes.
Based on the submitted and analyzed TCDs, quarterly reports are prepared focusing on the following indicators: time taken to clear border crossing (hr), costs incurred at border crossing clearance (US$), speed taken (km/hr) to travel and costs incurred (US$) to travel corridor section. Drafts of the quarterly reports are presented to the partner associations for validation before they are finalized. An in-depth annual report is prepared for presentation to the Senior Officials’ Meeting and the Ministerial Conference.
Initial results from the TCDs suggest the possibility of reducing time and cost to transport goods, some border crossing points require improvements and rail offers a cost effective way to transport freight. Over time, the study will show pertinent information on transport efficiency and bottlenecks. It is hoped that results of the study will serve as a useful guide for decision-makers in policy formulation, investment decisions and process improvements.
Plans are underway to perform Time Release Studies (TRS) in a number of selected BCPs along the CAREC corridors. The TRS will complement the Time-Cost-Distance methodology by closely reviewing customs’ and other border control agencies’ clearance procedures and identifying corrective actions to enhance their clearance operational efficiency.