Hundreds of trucks stuck at Romania’s border with Ukraine and Hungary
Due to the Russian blockade of its ports, Ukraine has been forced to ship essential agricultural goods exclusively on land. Hundreds of trucks are now stuck waiting to cross the border into Romania. Transit is also slowed at the Hungarian border due to Pentecost traffic restrictions.
On Monday, June 6, over 250 trucks were waiting to cross from Ukraine into Romania at the Siret border crossing, in the north-eastern county of Suceava, according to Europa Liberă. Drone footage showed trucks lined up for miles.
Other lines were formed at the border crossings between Moldova and Romania on Sunday, June 5. Moldovan border authorities notified transporters that the long wait times were caused by a malfunction on the Romanian side in the informational systems. However, the situation was soon resolved.
However, wait times at the Siret border crossing remained extremely long. Working at maximum capacity, the Suceava border police estimated a two-hour wait time for those wanting to enter Romania, and a staggering ten-hour wait for those looking to exit.
The border traffic between the two countries has been overburdened since the start of the war, which forced Ukraine to ship many of its goods through Romania. All of Romania’s eastern border crossings, the ones with Ukraine and Moldova, experienced long wait times in the last few days due to electronic errors and the increased number of trucks seeking to cross.
Trucks transiting the country have also been slowed at the border between Romania and Hungary after the latter imposed traffic restrictions for large vehicles on the occasion of the Catholic Pentecost. Drivers have to wait 5-6 hours on average to cross. The Nădlac II border crossing, a major transit point on Romania’s western border, is seeing double the usual traffic and a wait time of at least 300 minutes, according to G4Media.
Ukrainian transporters are working around the clock to ship out roughly 20 million tons of grains, or 800,000 truckloads, to make room for the new harvest. The European Commission has already announced that it would aid Ukraine logistically and asked European transporters to provide additional vehicles to that end. It also recommended that EU border authorities prove flexible and ensure the personnel necessary to make crossings smooth.
Meanwhile, the Romanian Government hasn’t been able to rehabilitate a 4-kilometer Soviet-designed railway segment that would allow trains carrying grain from Ukraine to reach a shipping terminal in Galati, from where the cereals could be sent to Constanta or to Western Europe by barges. The state-owned railway infrastructure company CFR Infrastructura announced it would fix the segment itself after no private contractor participated in the public tender organized for this project.