Survey of the Kathmandu Bhairahawa Corridor: March 2014

A survey of the border crossing time of trucks crossing the Nepal-India border from Bhairahawa and arriving in Nagdhunga


This report provides key results from a survey of the border crossing time of trucks crossing the Nepal-India border from Bhairahawa and arriving in Nagdhunga (Kathmandu). The survey took place in Belahiya (Bhairahawa, Nepal) and Sunauli (India) over seven working days, commencing on 14 March 2014.

It was concluded that the presence of the border controls delays the transportation time by 3 hours, 12 minutes (192 minutes). This includes the total time spent processing paperwork in both the Indian and Nepalese customs. If we assume clearing time for a vehicle in the Indian customs office is independent of that in Nepalese customs office, then the standard deviation for the border crossing time is 94.63 minutes. Once released from Bhairahawa customs yard, trucks took an average of 3 days, 21 hours and 46 minutes to reach Kathmandu (with a standard deviation of 2 days, 21 hours and 11 minutes).

Over the last three surveys, the number of border crossings has remained stable. In fact, the difference in total average border crossing time reported in the October survey and this survey was 2 minutes: a statistically insignificant figure. Other tasks carried out in the customs yard were also found to have showed little variation, including the average times taken for initial verification, inspection, transloading and receipt of payment. However, in contrast, the volume of arrivals from Bhairahawa to Kathmandu has fluctuated widely and during the last survey, the average time taken was only 14 hours 10 minutes.

One striking fact from our study is the relationship between the total time spent by trucks inside the customs yard and the time spent doing actual customs-related work. In October, the sum total of the average time for initial verification, inspection, bank payment and transloading was approximately 183 minutes. The average time spent by each truck inside the customs yard was actually 166 minutes (calculated using total time inside yard for all trucks), though this does not surprise as many trucks either parallel transload the goods or don’t transload at all. The corresponding figures for the June survey were 235.5 minutes and 240 minutes respectively, and similar trends were also found in our current survey. When compared with Birgunj customs, where almost 75% of the total time inside customs yard has little purpose, Bhairahawa’s customs seems to be working quite efficiently.

This report has been produced for Evidence on Demand with the assistance of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) contracted through the Climate, Environment, Infrastructure and Livelihoods Professional Evidence and Applied Knowledge Services (CEIL PEAKS) programme, jointly managed by DAI (which incorporates HTSPE Limited) and IMC Worldwide Limited.


Anon. Survey of the Kathmandu Bhairahawa Corridor: March 2014. Evidence on Demand, UK (2014) iii + 26 pp. [DOI: 10.12774/eod_cr.march2014]

Survey of the Kathmandu Bhairahawa Corridor: March 2014

Published 1 January 2014