Automated Customs Inspection Complexes Will Speed up Rail Freight Containers from China

The press service of Rostec State Corporation, Russia, reports their plans to equip railway entry points at the border between Russia and China with customs inspection complexes (CIC) by December 31, 2021, which will allow to check freights automatically without stopping the train.

“A permanent railway CIC allows to carry out customs inspection without stopping the train at the speed of 70 km/h, which will speed up the procedures of customs clearance significantly,” states Rostec. A smart scanner will see any hidden cache, even in the most secluded parts of the train.

Rostec claims that the CIC recognizes organic and non-organic elements, heavy and light metals, and its accuracy does not depend on the density, packing or properties of the materials. It can also estimate the weight of goods remotely (accurate within 10%).

Will container trains become faster?

Rail Cargo Department of TELS Group commenting on Rostec’s statement confirms that the introduction of such inspection technologies will accelerate the processing of container trains and border-crossing procedures, yet the trains will have to be stopped for technological reasons – the difference in railway gauge standards. Containers have to be reloaded to wide track platforms going further on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Dmitry Pokhodenko, a rail cargo specialist of TELS Group:

“So far the border-crossing scheme for containers looks the following way. Container ships enter the territory of the Russian Federation at Zabaikalsk container terminal, where containers are unloaded to the site. The railway receives the goods there and the customs service performs transit customs procedures. By the decision of the customs authorities, containers can be inspected with the mobile CIC – these containers are stopped in the customs zone of the terminal. Customs-cleared containers are loaded onto railway platforms and transported further by trains.

The inspection of containers selected by the customs is performed using approximately the same CIC technology, with the only difference – you can wait from several days to two weeks. In addition to that, the movement of documents is carried out manually, which also increases the processing time of the containers that have been stopped.

Installing a permanent CIC at the border, which will scan all the containers ‘at the entrance’ automatically, will remove the necessity to scan containers with the mobile CIC as only containers with inconsistencies will be stopped for additional inspection.

Provided Rostec really fulfills its statements and the technology works as planned, cargo transportations from China will become much faster.”


P.S.: There is no need to worry about the health of the crew members as only freight cars and containers are X-rayed, while the locomotives are not scanned. The goods will not be damaged either. CIC parameters comply with radiation safety and protection standards recommended by the IAEA.