Uzbekistan’s road transport system moves 10% of the international cargo that passes through the country. It also moves 88% of Uzbekistan’s domestic passenger and short haul cargo traffic. Uzbekistan’s 83,000-kilometer (km) highway system, about 90% of which is paved, is strategically important to its neighbors as transit routes for interregional and intra-regional transport. As an example, Uzbek roads provide a year-round linkage between northern and southern Tajikistan. Most of the 1,500 km of highways the consultant traveled in are in fairly good condition and can be classified as Class 1 or Class 2 under Asian highway standards. However, roads in the country are constructed based on former Soviet Union (FSU) standards and thus may not be able to handle large amounts of heavy truck traffic. Many highway sections traversed regularly by heavy trucks have crumbled pavements and a substantial number of potholes. Also, arterial roads and city streets are generally in poor condition. This is mainly the result of insufficient maintenance work, with the budget for maintaining primary roads remaining inadequate.
The Uzbek trucking industry is underdeveloped. It is estimated that there are fewer than 2,000 Uzbek trucks, most consisting of old Russian equipment. Meanwhile, foreign-owned trucks, mostly those from Turkey, Iran, and the Russian Federation, are in much better condition. Large numbers of foreign competitors are taking business away from local trucking companies in Uzbekistan.
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