China issues plan to enhance multimodal transport
A China-Europe freight train departs from Xi’an, Shaanxi province, for Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Aug 11. (Photo by Yuan Jingzhi/For China Daily)

The Chinese government has issued a new five-year work plan to promote the development of multimodal transport, amid efforts to optimize and adjust the country’s transport structure.

By 2025, the development level of multimodal transport will have been significantly improved, and bulk goods and containers will be largely transported via railways and waterways for medium and long distances, according to the plan released by the General Office of the State Council.

Compared to 2020, China’s railway and waterway freight volumes will respectively increase about 10 percent and 12 percent by 2025, and the combined railway and waterway container freight volume will see an average annual growth of more than 15 percent, per the plan.

It outlines specific policies and measures, such as enhancing multimodal carrying capacities and connection levels by developing a comprehensive three-dimensional transportation network.

Efforts will be stepped up to accelerate the development of port logistics hubs, improve the layout of railway logistics bases, and advance the construction of specialized cargo hub airports in an orderly manner, according to the plan.

The country will enrich multimodal service products, develop express delivery by railway, and promote the specialized multimodal transport of cold chain goods, hazardous chemicals, and domestic express mail, according to the plan.

It also stressed the importance of work to promote the structural adjustment of transport in key areas, encouraging bulk materials to be transported via railways and waterways instead of highways.

China will accelerate the upgrading of its technology and equipment in a greener manner, according to the plan.