Investigating the practices, problems, and policies for port sea-rail intermodal transport in China
Ge, J and Wang, X and Shi, W and Wan, Z, Investigating the practices, problems, and policies for port sea-rail intermodal transport in China, Transportation Research Record pp. 1-12. ISSN 0361-1981 (2020) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2020 National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board
Intermodalism is currently a mainstream mode of international transport because of its operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness compared with unimodal transport. In 2011, the Chinese government launched port sea-rail intermodal transport (PIT) projects to promote and facilitate its transport system. As a result, seaports are now ruling the waves of sea-rail intermodal transport in China. However, barriers have occurred in many parts of the system from transport sectors to government departments, challenging the accessibility, connectivity, and accountability of the intermodal system. This paper investigates the various parties that are involved in PIT, and aims to outline its development, including its present status, bottlenecks, and other influential elements. Through a questionnaire survey and content analysis, the main problems are identified as lack of institutional design and system regulation, resistance from the rail sector, insufficient cooperation and investment, and a fragmented information system. Policy recommendations are addressed through a three-step administrative framework: (a) unification of international regulations and standards; (b) rail sector reform for better alignment with other transport sectors; (c) incentive policies for enterprises instead of direct subsidies.