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Land-sea corridor work in western region to shift into higher gear

Ouyang Shijia
Updated: Sep 03,2021 07:09 AM    China Daily

China will speed up the construction of a land-sea corridor in its western region over the next five years in a bid to further boost high-quality development and connectivity, the country's top economic regulator said on Sept 2.

The National Development and Reform Commission unveiled a new plan to promote the high-quality development of the new western land-sea corridor during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25).

The plan aims to build an economical, efficient, convenient, green, and safe land-sea corridor for the western region by 2025.

By then, the operation of the three major routes connecting Chengdu in Sichuan province, the Chongqing municipality, and Beibu Gulf port in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region will become more efficient with better transportation capacity and logistics services, playing a key role in driving the economic and industrial development along the routes.

The land-sea corridor will extend primarily from Chengdu and Chongqing to Beibu Gulf Port and Yangpu Port in Hainan province. It will also better connect China's inland northwestern region to major ports in the south.

Under the plan, the combined sea-rail transportation along the new land-sea corridor in western China is set to complete 500,000 twenty-foot equivalent units by 2025. And the total number of cross-border freight trains is expected to reach 2,000 by then.

Container throughput at Beibu Gulf Port and Yangpu Port is set to reach 10 million TEUs and 5 million TEUs, respectively, by 2025.

By then, a large and unified regional market will be built in the land-sea corridor in western China, with improved Customs clearance and logistics services.

In terms of the western land-sea new corridor Railway Express, 3,624 trains were operated and 360,000 TEUs of goods were delivered in the first eight months, up 80 percent and 256 percent, respectively, according to Dong Hui, deputy director of the Freight Transport Department at China State Railway Group Co Ltd.

Dong said China State Railway Group will actively promote the high-quality construction and operation of the new western land-sea corridor in accordance with the new plan.

"We will optimize the operation of sea-rail combined trains as well as improve Customs clearance and logistics services," Dong said. "We will strive to achieve an average annual growth of 15 percent in terms of the rail-cargo volume of the western land-sea new corridor Railway Express."

Zhou Xiaoqi, deputy director of the Department of Infrastructure Development at the NDRC, said the new plan focuses on strengthening weak links in transportation construction in the western region, improving the quality and efficiency of transportation and logistics, reducing costs, optimizing services, and expanding opening-up in the region.

The new plan will help meet the higher requirement for promoting the development of combined sea-rail transportation, international liner services, cross-border freight train services, and innovative logistics models, he said.

"It highlighted the need to strengthen the cross-regional coordination in the corridor and jointly build a shared operational organization platform, which will comprehensively improve the overall operating efficiency."

NDRC data showed China has made considerable progress in developing the new land-sea corridor in the western region during the first half of 2021.

The total number of sea-rail combined train trips on the new land-sea corridor in western China reached 2,705 in the first half, up 112 percent year-on-year. And container throughput at Beibu Gulf Port and Yangpu Port reached 2.61 million TEUs and 565,000 million TEUs, up 22.3 percent and 56.7 percent, respectively, NDRC data showed.

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