Railway Transportation in China
A World Bank research paper indicates that railway transportation in China could grow substantially, mainly because the nation has adopted the kind of operating practices and regulatory reforms that have boosted the development of the North American Rail Network.
More and more manufacturing has moved to China’s western provinces over the past couple of years. This in turn, has increased the distance between manufacturers and international and domestic shipments. At the same time however, China’s highways are becoming more congested which makes it more difficult to deliver goods and get value-for-money in trucking services. Hence, a more intense use of railway transportation could be a game-changer for Chinese manufacturers and consumers.
The freight container traffic in China has grown at an incredible rate since 1998, and while container traffic on ships and trucks has increased over time, the use of trains has decreased. China Railway corporation, the national rail operator within China, began reforms in 2013 in order to improve operational efficiency and customer service. They now offer more flexibility in setting rates and offer services based on market force and demand. These initial reforms can pave the way for a broader adoption of the railway system as a means of cross-country freight transport.
For more information refer to: Customer-driven Rail Intermodal Logistics: Unlocking a New Source of Value for China.