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China - Belarus. Incredible shipment during the pandemic

The period of the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively affected industries around the world. Transport logistics was not an exception, but, what is much worse, the disruption of supply chains that had been developed over the years. During the quarantine, each shipment turned into a real challenge of ingenuity, speed and professionalism, that only highly qualified specialists could cope with.


We would like to share a case of shipment, which, in terms of the intensity of events, can compete with a full-length film and made us mobilize all our knowledge, experience and strength. Looking ahead, we can say that the story ended successfully, and now we can share the details of the story.


Description of transportation


Route: Zaozhuang, China - Minsk, Belarus.


Type of cargo: raw materials for antiseptics (benzalkonium chloride, 8 class + didecyldimethylammonium chloride, hazard class 3)


The request for the transportation of raw materials for antiseptics came in the wake of the pandemic, and countries started to quarantine massively and chaotically. Realizing that cargo transportation would be difficult due to the instability of international logistics, we undertook, among other things, as well the ethical reasons (there were already reports of a shortage of antiseptics on sale).


Realizing the importance and the urgency of the cargo, we decided to conduct the order by road delivery (China-Belarus) crossing the checkpoint "Manchuria-Zabaikalsk".


The coordination of transportation was delayed by an incomprehensible situation at the borders: we were receiving news about changes in the regulations almost every hour. When the cargo was loaded from the sender, China stopped allowing all international drivers without a C visa cross its territory, additionally limiting travel through Manchuria-Zabaikalsk to 10 cars per day, with the exception of food and medical supplies. After additional verification, our cargo got the second category.


The restrictions imposed led to collapse: a queue of more than 500 cars, the tension between the drivers escalated in fights, and security forces were used to control the situation. Having made many efforts, relying on the urgency and nature of the cargo, we managed to agree on the prompt border crossing into China to pick up the cargo.


Then unforeseen things happened...!


The Chinese side, which issued the export, refused to physically release the cargo from China. Questions arose that no one could expect: “Can this hazard class be transported through a particular checkpoint? Could such raw materials be classified as medical supplies?”


Thus, the transport has to turn back.


How not knowing all the peculiarities of Chinese legislation, in a pandemic and closed borders, to cope with this situation? We decided to seek an advice from the state authorities: the Chinese Embassy in the Republic of Belarus, the Belarusian Embassy in China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chamber of Commerce, and the State Customs Committee.


The Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in China, represented by an official representative of the Customs Committee, responded to our request. However, the first attempt to help resolving the issue on his part turned to be disappointing. At the same time, the reasons for the refusal by the customs authorities were not completely clear to us. Having decided we cannot disappoint our client and it is too early to give up, we sent a second request with additional explanations. This perseverance led to the desired results: the governor of the Chinese province got involved, and a week later, we received permission to export the cargo.


It would seem what else can happen?!


The Belarusian transport, which initially went to pick up the cargo, was allowed to stay on the territory of China only for 24 hours, had to come back. Therefore, during the proceedings, the cargo was placed for storage at a warehouse in Manchuria. After a successful solution of the issue, we had to look for a new vehicle.


We remind you! The pandemic is accelerating, carriers are unwilling to take risks and there is a catastrophically small number of free vehicles for the transport of dangerous goods. However, the diligence and professionalism of our specialists allowed us to successfully complete this task.


Result: the cargo delivered to Minsk, the total transit time was 35 days.


“Such shipment was a good test for the whole team”. – says Irina Sinyavskaya, line manager of the freight forwarding division. — “At the same time, the situation was an extremely valuable experience and training. The coherence of work, perseverance, our active position and help from the client, for which we are especially grateful, allowed us to cope with a situation that was completely unknown and new for us. However, we are now confident that even in the conditions of a traffic collapse, bans or quarantines, we can fulfill our obligations to our customers”.

We sincerely thank the representative of the State Customs Committee at the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus for the assistance provided.

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