Shipping to Central Asia (a.k.a. Commonwealth Independent States, a.k.a. Russia’s Near Abroad, a.k.a. “the Chaos-stans”)
In general, shipping to Central Asia is not very different from shipping to the United States. It is all a matter of figuring out the sea freight or air freight, port and airport operations, and inland destination carriage. But there is one critical difference. It is in having the right partners for shipping to Central Asia is absolutely crucial.
Our partners who help us with shipping to Central Asia have most of their experience from freight destined to/from the Confederation of Independent States (CIS). Their expertise in shipping to Central Asia includes rail, road, sea, inland barge, and air. They ship drilling equipment, transformers, heavy machinery and cranes as well as full container loads. Where transportation to this region differs from other places is in the matter of customs clearance. Nowadays, companies must be extraordinarily careful in planning their logistics. For example, for cargo whose destination is Russia, it is imperative to double check to confirm the cargo is not under sanctions.
Our CIS-focused logistics providers use the Port of Klaipeda as a jumping off point for landed cargo. There, they’ve had a lot of oversized and bulk cargoes handled with their own port equipment. Their warehouse and railway ramp are within the Port of Klaipeda. And in some other cases, we utilize the Port of Paldiski for example for cargo that trans-ships to the region of the Caspian Sea and to Northern Russia. Last, there’s always the Port of St. Petersburg for cargo going to inland Russia.
We offer delivery by all major modes of ocean freight: break-bulk, bulk, container logistics, and Ro-Ro through the above-mentioned ports. And we have capabilities to arrange further transportation by railway or by road. Even still, Rotterdam and Antwerp remain good options for cargo that is not oversized nor overweight. For this cargo, the goods load in tautliners and deliver in transit by FTL /LTL to final destinations in the CIS.
Agency in Central Asia
It is important to have an agent sophisticated in the ways of Russian Customs. About ninety-five percent of shipments are delivered basis Incoterms DAT/DAP. This means customs clearance are done on behalf of the consignee by their own customs broker. However, our agents have customs brokers well-placed in the most trafficked routes in order to satisfy a client’s DDP needs. This tool comes in handy for project freight.
Last, special certifications, LOI’s, and explanatory declarations from the customer may be needed to cross borders. Also clearing customs well before the actual shipping starts may be needed. For example, we once needed two weeks to get all necessary documentation from Spanish authorities proving to EU Customs that a very normal helicopter was for civil use. Afterward it took another two months to clear the import into Russia. And we had to again prove the same civil use to Russian Customs authorities.