A three-year action plan was released in August 2018 by the Ministry of Transportation on the further development of multimodal transport in the Yangtze River Economic Belt.
The action plan was expected to better service the overall development strategy of the economic belt.
By 2020, a competitive rail-and-waterway intermodal transport network will be established, along with direct river-to-sea transport between the Yangtze River and Ningbo’s Zhoushan Port and Shanghai’s Yangshan Deep Water Port.
Over 80 percent of the main ports in the Yangtze River basin will be directly connected by rail and more than 90 percent will have railway loading lines for bulk cargo enabling them to carry out collection and distribution by 2020.
Enhancing infrastructure construction is listed as one of the primary targets of the action plan. Key transport corridors and trunk lines along the Yangtze River will see systematic management, together with the construction of important navigation-power junction projects along Yangtze River tributaries such as the Longxikou project on the Minjiang River in Sichuan.
Efforts will also be devoted to innovating service models for multimodal transport. Main ports along the Yangtze, such as Nanjing and Wuhan, will be turned into core hubs for rail-and-waterway intermodal transport.
Some transport lines will be developed into regular ones, such as the Ningbo-Yiwu line and the Lianyungang-Xi’an-Urumqi line.
By the end of 2019, long distance transport of bulk cargo, such as coal and minerals, will all be required to be transported by rail or waterways.
Ships on inland or river-to-sea waterways will have detailed standards for ship sizes and forms. This is designed to weed out ships being used for longer than 20 years and ships performing poorly in safety and environmental protection were required to be transformed and modernized.
Strong support will be offered for research and development into new ships that will be suited to river-to-sea waterways, and their use promoted.
The technical levels of key equipment at ports, including handling equipment and horizontal transport vehicles, will also be upgraded. By 2020, a national public information platform for transport and logistics will be connected with 95306, the national railway platform, to establish a service-oriented information platform for multimodal transport with innovation demonstration effects.