Speed up the building of a modern traffic and logistics operation system within the new development pattern, empower opening up and development with smooth circulation
Circulation is the “artery” of economic cycle. The modern circulation system plays a vital supportive role in building a new development pattern where the domestic and international circulation reinforce each other, with the domestic circulation as the mainstay. On September 9, during the 8th meeting of the Financial and Economic Commission of the CPC Central Committee, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that the circulation system plays a fundamental role in the national economy, and that in forming the new development pattern, we must view the building of a modern circulation system as a vital strategic task. Traffic and logistics is an important guarantee of building a modern circulation system. The 8th meeting of the Financial and Economic Commission of the CPC Central Committee pointed out that it is important to build a modern comprehensive transportation system, form a unified and open traffic and transportation market, optimize and improve the layout of comprehensive transport channels, raise the cargo transport capacity via high speed trains and international air transport, so as to form a safe and efficient logistics network connecting China with the rest of the world.
Qingdao is a pivot city along the “Belt and Road” New Eurasian Land-bridge Economic Corridor, as well as a strategic pivot of marine cooperation. In the new development pattern, Qingdao holds the value of a “dual node” connecting China's east and west, south and north. In the national system of logistics channels, Qingdao is located at the meeting point of the “Qingdao-Yinchuan Logistics Channel” and the “Logistics Channels Connecting the Coastal Areas and the South and North of China”, featuring dense traffic activities and outstanding strategic position. The “top-level design” made in the 8th meeting of the Financial and Economic Commission of the CPC Central Committee provides Qingdao with enormous development opportunity to better leverage the value of a “dual node” in the new development pattern, and accelerate the building of a safe and efficient logistics network connecting China with the rest of the world. Guided by this top-level design, Qingdao will focus on “building a new ‘Belt and Road’ international cooperation platform”, pay close attention to the objectives and positioning of “the gateway seaport for SCO countries facing Asian-Pacific market” “the international navigation hub” and “the international comprehensive traffic hub”. Qingdao will reinforce the geographical advantages of being “the gateway seaport to the Yellow River basin” and “the node city of
the New Eurasian Land-bridge Economic Corridor and strategic pivot of marine cooperation”. The city will also strive to facilitate the coordination among the sea, land, air and railway transportation, further open up the international logistics channel “reaching Japan and South Korea to the east, SCO and European countries to the west, ASEAN and south Asia to the south, Mongolia and Russia to the north”. The objective is to fundamentally form a modern traffic and logistics operation system featuring “connectivity at home and abroad, from east to the west, integration of land and sea, intelligence and efficiency”, so as to build an international logistics central hub, thus strongly supporting the high-quality socio-economic development.
The comprehensive transportation channel creates Qingdao’s “lifeline” for opening up
Smooth circulation of goods stimulates vitality. International logistics channel is the “lifeline” for international trade and cooperation. In a sense, without a gateway main channel, high level opening up and cooperation is no-where to be mentioned. For Qingdao to raise the level of opening up, it must improve the international transportation network, continuously enhance the connectivity capacity of the international channel reaching abroad.
Thanks to the naturally endowed geographical location, logistics and industrial advantages, Qingdao’s value as a hub has been recognized in the national logistics system. In December, 2018, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Transport jointly issued The Plan for the Layout and Building of National Logistics Hubs, stipulating the six types of national logistics hubs, their functional position, requirements for their building, cultivation and development. Qingdao has been listed as a city undertaking four types of national logistics hubs, namely, port, airport, producing services, commerce and trade services, becoming the city undertaking the most types country-wide. In recent years, Qingdao prioritized opening up, took faster steps to improve the connectivity of traffic infrastructure, continuously expanded investment. Qingdao has formed the preliminary modern comprehensive transport network, featuring international airport, modern seaport as radiation centers, high speed railway and expressway as the mainline, and close connection with the inner city traffic system. The well integrated seaport, inland port and airport have become the important pillar and platform the development of Qingdao’ s logistics industry. At present, the effective, convenient and well connected logistics channels are on the fast track of forming a network. The city-wide traffic mileage by road reached 14696.3 kilometers, the mileage of railway cargo transport reached 263.5 kilometers. Totally, there are 54 sea-rail transport container block train lines, 6 international block train lines, 176 international container air routes, and 203 regular air
routes. Railways are intertwined into Qianwan and Dongjiakou Ports. With Jiaozhou-Huangdao and Jimo-Huangdao block trains in place, a sea-rail transport network covering the West Coast New Area, Jiaozhou and Jimo featuring “port in the front and station in the back, with three pivots”. This network connects all the areas, clusters and economic zones in the city, eliminated the weak links of internal cargo and material circulation, further improved the multimodal transport channels network. The “sea-rail-road” multimodal transport project connecting Qianwan Port and Jiaozhou Railway Central Station has become the only “National Multimodal Transport Demonstration Project” in Shandong Province, and one of twelve nation wide. Centered on
Qingdao Port, the city will build a manufacturing service-oriented (port-oriented) national logistics hub, featuring interconnected shipping logistics network and inland logistics network, formed by container shipping routes, sea-rail container block trains, and inland ports. SCODA Multimodal Transport Center operates over 600 stations nationwide. The SCO express of Qilu Eurasian block train, and the Japan-South Korea land-sea express are both operated in regular schedules. The Central Asia train is operated 6 to 7 times per week. The volume of containers by sea-rail transport ranks No.1 nationwide for the fifth consecutive years. There are nearly 100 logistics parks of a certain scale in the city.
Qingdao gives full play to the opening up advantages, studies the trend and changes brought by the pandemic, and made hard-earned achievements in stabilizing the international logistics supply chain. In the first half of 2020, the cargo and container throughput of Qingdao Port, the volume handled via international block trains and sea-rail transport all achieved precious positive growth. The international transport service with the major countries and regions in the world maintained steady operation, strongly supported the companies’ resuming work and production and reaching design capacity, as well as the restoration of socio-economic orders. But we must see that there are still weak links in Qingdao’ s comprehensive transport network, and the outward channels are yet to be improved. The connectivity by sea and by land is imbalanced. By sea, a global shipping network is preliminarily formed, featuring far-sea and offshore shipping routes, and well coordinated main lines and branch lines. However, the connectivity by road along the Belt and Road is weak, unable to radiate the western hinterland economically enough. The port is weak in its international transit, procurement and distribution functions. The international
air routes network is yet to be optimized, currently its international radiation ability is weak, with not enough international routes besides those to Japan and South Korea. In these terms, Qingdao Airport is legging behind other airports of the same level, and its local airway is not providing enough support.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit put Qingdao at the forefront of the new round of high level opening up of China. At present, Qingdao is focusing on building SCODA, in order to implement the national strategies and plans such as building a new “Belt and Road” international cooperation platform. We will adhere to the platform philosophy, put multimodal transport at a key position, embrace the national strategies, aiming to improve the quality and efficiency of transport and logistics industry, and speed up the building of an international logistics central hub.
According to the Three-year Action Plan for the Development of Transport and Logistics Industry in Qingdao (2020-2022) issued this year, we will take 20 specific measures and 5 actions, including raising the capacity of the hubs, expanding the channels of radiation, strengthen the platforms, further grow the industrial clusters, and deepen international cooperation. We will adopt three models of dry inland port, trackless freight yard of the railway, and remote freight depot at the airport. In this way, a seamless connection of sea, rail, air and road transportation is possible, thus leveraging the fundamental, guiding and service functions of transport and logistics. On raising the capacity of the hubs, we will build world class seaport, airport and railway hubs, strengthen their coordination and connectivity, so as to build an international hub network that is convenient, efficient with outstanding comprehensive service. Till 2022, we will strive to bring the cargo throughput of the port to 6500 million tons, and the container throughput to 24 million TEUs. Improve Jiaodong International Airport in its functional positioning, traffic support ability, and the cargo transport capacity. We will promote the capacity expansion and upgrading of China Railway (Jiaozhou) Logistics Park, SCODA Multimodal Transport Center, and the Railway Logistics Parks in Dongjiakou, Jimo and Huangdao. Till 2022, we will strive to bring the output of SCODA Multimodal Transport Center up to 1 million TEUs, and the cargo throughput by rail at Dongjiakou Port Area up to 17 million tons.
On building the radiation channels, we plan to build four “Silk Roads” in the air, on the sea, ice and land, so as to form an international logistics channel linking Europe and Asia, radiating the rest of the world, “connecting the east and the west, boosting interaction between the land and sea, home and abroad”. We will encourage shipping companies to increase the numbers of mainline shipping routes to Japan, South Korea and SCO countries, in order to enlarge our advantage as the northern China port with the densest shipping lines. We will build six major International railway channels of Central Asia, China-Russia, China-Belarus, China-Mongolia, ASEAN, China-South Korea, and cultivate a new international railway line to Central Europe, thus building the “Overland Silk Road”. We will attract cargo from neighboring areas, and make SCODA an international block train dispatch center, radiating Jiaodong Pennisula. On building supporting platforms, we will rely on "new infrastructure" such as 5G technology, follow the guide of “big platform, full chain, new industries”, and energetically develop the platform economy, aggregate the cargo, business, information and capital flows at a faster pace, so as to share information and increase value. We will develop internet cargo transport and platform economy, form industrial clusters at a faster pace. We will support the companies of internet cargo transport platforms to develop cargo transport and logistics trading. We will bring in more fourth party logistics companies and platform companies, and build a platform company ecological system featuring “Internet + big data”.
In strengthening our industrial clusters, we will enhance policy innovation, pilot and demonstration, cultivation and introduction of companies, promote the coordination of “four drivers” including shipping, logistics, trade and finance, so as to build a major logistics industrial cluster in north China. In deepening international cooperation, we will speed up overseas layout, pivot cooperation, and service improvement. We will also promote the connectivity of channels, policy communication and exchanges among companies. In this way, a bilateral interaction where cargo flow and people flow reinforces each other, thus making an all-round connectivity possible.
The international air cargo transport capacity will be raised by a large margin. The international air cargo transport has always been a weak link restricting China in expanding our global industrial chains. The executive meeting of the State Council held on March 24th this year pointed out that, the international air cargo transport capacity is an obvious shortcoming of China. And under the circumstances of international air passenger transport and freight via the belly cabin of passenger planes both shrinking due to the impact of the pandemic, the international supply chains for Chinese industries faces daunting challenges. The 8th meeting of the Financial and Economic Commission of the CPC Central Committee held on September 9th once again suggested that, China should invest more efforts in the capacity of building cargo transport by high speed trains and international airlines. These top-level designs will inject new driving forces into the international air cargo transport of Qingdao.
Data shows that, in 2019, the domestic cargo and parcel throughput of 16 airports exceeded 200,000 tons respectively, their total throughput accounted for 80% of the national sum. They represent the future of the national air cargo transport. Qingdao Airport handled a cargo and parcels throughput of 256,000 tons in 2019, ranking 14th nation-wide, undertaking important tasks in the national air cargo transport. The lack of international air routes and freight airplanes are the main indicators of the weak international air cargo transport. Objectively speaking, Qingdao Airport still has shortcomings in the layout of all freight airplane routes oriented to the international market. Our international freight routes are only to South Korea, Japan and eastern U.S., not yet to the European and southeast Asian markets where there are close trade links with Qingdao. The numbers of freights are also legging behind neighboring cities of Yantai and Zhengzhou. Restricted by the insufficient capacity and relatively low number of international freight routes, some of our international cargo have to be transmitted through Shanghai or Beijing airports.
Seeking new opportunities in crisis and changes. Since early this year, impacted by the
pandemic, demands for cargo transport continued to increase. Qingdao Airport made timely response to the outstanding conflict between the insufficient freight planes capacity and the high demand for resuming work and production at home and international purchase of materials to fight the pandemic. Qingdao Airport strengthened coordination with domestic and international airlines, and converted some passenger flights into cargo flights ahead of the rest of the province, and endeavored to minimize the adverse impact of reduced passenger transport capacity. By taking these measures, the airport were able to protect the supply chain of the local air cargo transport market, and satisfy the international demand for air cargo transport. Up till now, Qingdao Airport safeguarded 628 freight planes converted from passenger planes, transported 5915 tons of various goods and materials, with air routes to Japan, South Korea, Europe and the U.S. At present, Qingdao is witnessing a full bloom of opening up, our international passengers and cargo transport demands will continue to rise. In the future, we will seize the opportunity of the transfer to Jiaodong International Airport, continue to expand the radiation capacity of our aviation network. We
will strive to secure more traffic rights and airline schedules, increase the number of all freight plane air routes and international freight transit flights. We will also increase or open air routes to Asian and European destinations, arrange air routes to SCO countries and "Belt and Road" countries, establishing a Silk Road in the Air network. In 2020, the volume for air cargo transport and transit is expected to increase by 8%. In 2021, we plan to open European freight routes. From 2020 to 2022, we will open one new all freight air routes per year on average, totaling 10 new routes by 2022.