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Chongqing's Leading Role in the Land-Sea Trade Corridor Operation

Chongqing- On September 2, the Implementation Plan of the 14th Five-Year Plan to Promote High-Quality Construction of New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) was released. It stresses that Chongqing should continue playing the leading role in the corridor operation.

Based on the requirements of developing in an economical, efficient, convenient, green, and safe manner, the Implementation Plan urges efforts to further upgrade the three channels of ILSTC respectively in the east, west, and central areas by 2025. The operation of relevant channels, ports, and logistics hubs should become more efficient to speed up and promote economic and industrial development in the areas along ILSTC.

Specifically, the development tasks in different periods include the main channels that need to be unimpeded and more efficient, the shipping logistics network should be upgraded, and the “channel economy” in the areas along ILSTC should gradually take shape. The Implementation Plan makes the main tasks in all aspects more explicit.

Three transportation modes of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor. (Data source: National Development and Reform Commission)

To make the main channels unimpeded and more efficient

To expedite the construction of the main channels, relevant parties need to make the west channel unimpeded first.

First, through giving priority to linking up unconnected road sections, relevant parties should optimize and improve the western access road (Chengdu–Luzhou (Yibin)–Baise–mouth of Beibu Gulf), build the Huangtong-Baise Railway, and strengthen expansion and transformation of the existing railways.

Second, relevant parties should expand the central channel. Focusing on the task of building an access road with a large capacity, they have to improve the transportation capability of the central channel (Chongqing–Guiyang–Nanning–mouth of Beibu Gulf) at a faster pace.

They should also accelerate the construction of the Guiyang-Nanning High-speed Railway in an orderly manner and fully leverage the existing trunk lines in terms of the freight capacity.

Besides, relevant parties need to improve further the eastern channel (Chongqing-Huaihua-Liuzhou-mouth of Beibu Gulf) while focusing on enhancing the capacity of the existing lines.

Last, they have to strengthen the connection of lines inside and outside ILSTC. The focus should link the core areas with the extended areas, Yangtze River Economic Belt and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Meanwhile, they need to emphasize the construction of cross-border land access and promote the interconnection of facilities with neighboring countries.

To strengthen the functions of important hubs

First, relevant parties must speed up the building of Beibu Gulf as an international gateway in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, optimize resource integration and functional layout in the area, and improve the capacity and intelligence of wharves and waterway facilities.

Second, they should build Yangpu Port of Hainan Province into an international container hub, endeavor to raise the level of the port’s container wharves and waterways, improve its capacities of collection, distribution, and transportation, and enhance the function of international transit business.

Third, relevant parties are required to erect a logistics and operation center and further improve the center’s role to positively impact ILSTC.

Fourth, a national center for important trade and logistics should be constructed in Chengdu. It is a must to strengthen the functions of main railway hubs in the city and advance the construction of railway freight nodes and dry port-based national logistics hubs.

Last, it is necessary to improve the hub and collection distribution-transportation systems along ILSTC and steadily advance the building of logistics hubs and nodes in important countries along ILSTC.

The New 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)

To improve transportation organization and logistics efficiency

In this aspect, relevant parties should first put more effort into rail-sea transportation as well as international trains and regular lorries.

First, they need to optimize railway transportation organization, strengthen the integration of the train schedule with ports’ route network information, improve the integrated operation level of rail-sea transportation, and ensure stable operation of international trains.

Second, relevant parties have to optimize the organization of airlines and flights and strengthen port-airport coordination and sea transportation organization. They should expand the airline networks of key ports, steadily increase the number of ocean-going container airlines, and add more international routes linking ASEAN and other regions to the networks of airline hubs along ILSTC.

Third, they are required to strengthen the coordination and interconnection of ILSTC’s different parts, strengthen the cooperation between ILSTC and the operation platform of China Railway Express, intensify the linkage between ILSTC and the Yangtze River and Xijiang River waterways, and deepen the connection of cross-border transportation.

Fourth, relevant parties should pool efforts to build a shared operation and organization platform, make good use of the public information service platform, and strengthen data sharing and business linkage.

Last, relevant parties should cultivate diversified ILSTC operators, support large enterprises to improve the layout of key facilities along the ILSTC, strengthen the integration of network resources, and improve the ability of cross-regional collaborative operation.

To the south, Chongqing directly links to the China-Singapore Connectivity Initiative New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, connecting with coastal cities in southern China, the ASEAN, and South Asia. (iChongqing file photo)

To reduce costs and optimize services 

In this regard, first and foremost, relevant parties should focus on reducing ILSTC operating costs, eliminating the charging links, improving the port charge items, standardizing the behavior of charging, and helping operators improve services and reduce costs.

Second, by further implementing the single bill of lading system, it is important to strengthen the convergence of railway and maritime rules and documents and increase value-added services in international trade and finance.

Third, relevant parties should develop specialized logistics services, improve the layout of national key cold-chain logistics bases along the ILSTC, develop container-based international cold chain shipping, strengthen connectivity of highway cold chain terminal networks, and build transnational and trans-regional logistics supply chains.

Fourth, promoting the upgrading of port functions will lead to the advancement in the opening-up of ports and inspection of opening-up achievements, improvement in the traffic capacity of ports, and acceleration in the construction of bonded logistics centers and comprehensive bonded zones.

Last but not least, improving the level of facilitation of customs clearance and supporting the construction of a “single window” platform is essential to strengthen the connection of information platforms, improve the efficiency of multimodal transportation customs clearance, and perfect convenient customs clearance policies.

To catalyze the integrated and open development of ILSTC

Building a new situation of channel integration and open development, first of all, relevant parties shall accelerate the economic development of the ILSTC, leverage the supporting and leading role of the ILSTC in the regional coordinated development, and forge the economic growth poles of the ILSTC.

Second, they should expand the global service network, actively participate in the construction of logistics hubs in neighboring countries and regions, and join efforts to build an overseas collection and distribution network.

Third, through improving the international cooperation mechanism and making good use of various international cooperation agreements and mechanisms, relevant parries shall advance cooperation in international trade, international logistics, and other fields and promote the implementation of more international cooperation projects.

Last, deepening economic and trade exchanges and cooperation involves implementing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, relying on a variety of exhibition platforms, strengthening the cooperation in international trade and services, encouraging regions along the ILSTC and ASEAN countries to build industrial parks jointly, and enhancing collaboration on upstream and downstream industrial chains.

From January to November last year, three transportation modes of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor in Chongqing have reached or completed over 95% of the annual target.

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