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China's Chongqing Expands International Trade Powered by Smart Logistics

By VIVIAN YANICHONGQING|Aug 30,2021

The Parallel Session on Promoting Smart Logistics and Digitalizing Logistics Corridors of the China-SCO Forum on the Digital Economy Industry was held in Chongqing on August 23, focusing on the smart development, information technology, and digital transformation of smart logistics, and having in-depth discussions on the high-quality development direction of international port logistics and the layout of the modern logistics space system.

Sea-bound and outbound corridors

Over ten smart logistics experts, scholars and politicians made a speech on participating in international cooperation in the digital economy, developing smart logistics platforms, constructing digital logistics corridors, and promoting the high-quality development of international logistics.

At present, Chongqing’s sea-bound and outbound corridors have become an important link among the SCO countries.

The year 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the SCO. By the end of 2020, Chongqing had established and developed local friendly partnerships with nearly 30 regions of the SCO countries, with a total import and export volume of 32.5 billion yuan.

Chongqing has strengthened cooperation with the SCO countries as a connecting point of the Belt and Road and the Yangtze River Economic Belt. It has access to 15 SCO countries, including India, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Belarus, and Sri Lanka, through air routes, China Railway Express, the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), and the Yangtze River Golden Waterway.

Next, Chongqing will be connected with Afghanistan and Armenia by international flights.

These all-around stereoscopic multi-modal transport corridors are linking Chongqing closely with the SCO countries.

Chongqing has strengthened cooperation with the SCO countries and has access to 15 SCO countries. (iChongqing/ Vivian Yan)

Smart logistics and digital corridors

Currently, the corridor capacity is redefining the geographical location and deeply expanding the development space, where Chongqing has made many beneficial explorations in smart logistics and digital corridors.

Possessing complete digital infrastructure, with huge advantages such as fast computing speed and low computing cost, Chongqing has the country’s leading 5G-enabled high-level data center to provide solid digital infrastructure support for the iterative upgrade and integrated application of smart logistics.

Chongqing has a wealth of corridor application scenarios. Its ILSTC network covers 304 ports in 105 countries, 33 lines of China Railway Express reach 40 cities in 26 countries, and 105 international air routes connect 77 cities in 35 countries.

In these open corridors, advanced technologies of smart logistics have been widely applied to build smart ports, smart customs locks, single windows, and the smart logistics project of the Yangtze River.

Chongqing has established the system of one bill of lading for rail-sea intermodal transport, which has improved the level of logistics services for the economic development of the SCO countries.

As an international inland logistics hub and pioneer of port services, as well as a national pilot city of cost reduction and efficiency, increasing in logistics in China, Chongqing will continue to reduce the cost of social logistics, enhance the facilitation of cross-border trade, and improve the business environment for international logistics.

Next, Chongqing will create digital logistics corridors by building a smart logistics platform.

The city will actively deepen the integration of logistics with the Internet of Things, big data, blockchain, and artificial intelligence to make logistics more intelligent and build information corridors for international supply chains based on such corridors as the ILSTC and China Railway Express to strengthen logistics and industrial connectivity with the SCO countries and thus make logistics more open.

The new International Land-Sea Trade Corridor simulation model was displayed at the Smart Logistics and Digital Channel Theme exhibition hall at the N2 Pavillion of the Chongqing International Expo Center. (iChongqing/ Vivian Yan)

Smart logistics promotes international trade

According to Wang Ming, Director of the Institute of Comprehensive Transportation of the National Development and Reform Commission of China, smart logistics serves as an important means to promote the reform and breakthrough of the industrial operation mode.

Wang thinks, as China is moving faster to foster a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other, Chongqing and other central and western regions of China, in the process of giving full play to their late-mover advantages, will make full use of smart logistics technology and services, accelerate the efforts to promote deeper changes in industrial layout and operation organization mode, grasp new opportunities for the development of inland regions, and build a pioneer of opening-up at a high level.

Davron Hidoyatov, Governor of Uzbekistan’s Tashkent Region, said that China is a major trading partner of Uzbekistan. Despite the global pandemic, the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has achieved remarkable results. The bilateral trade volume has reached U. S. dollars 55,415,000, up 171%.

Hidoyatov insists, the new historical record shows t he huge development potential of China and Uzbekistan, among which smart logistics plays an important role.

Wang Limei, President of China Road Transport Association, said that Chongqing, with its unique geographical advantages and rich logistics scenarios, has great potential in smart logistics and digital corridors between China and other SCO countries.

Wang said the city should make full use of the international road digitalization tool — the international road transport convention TIR, to strengthen the planning and construction of a logistics hub and prioritize the development and improvement of digital infrastructure.

According to Wang Ke, Deputy Director at the National Office of Port Administration of China, new technologies such as big data, blockchain, and artificial intelligence have made rapid progress and found excellent application scenarios in smart ports, smart logistics, and other fields, which have strengthened cooperation among the SCO countries and connected the supply chain. 

A simulation model of China Railway Express was displayed at the Smart Logistics and Digital Channel Theme exhibition hall at the N2 Pavillion of the Chongqing International Expo Center. (iChongqing/ Vivian Yan)

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