Interview with Prof. Wang Derong, Beijing Institute of Logistics & Transport of ZJX
Mr. Wang Derong, professor, President of the Beijing Institute of Logistics & Transport of ZJX.

1. Please tell us about your recent research project, what new gains have you made in the development of China Europe freight train?

Beijing Institute of Logistics & Transport of ZJX have started the comprehensive investigation of the integration of transportation, trade, industry and city on China-Europe freight train since the 4th quarter of 2019, in order to carry the Belt and Road Initiative(BRI) , implement the strategy of transportation power and promote the high-quality development of China-Europe freight train. The research contents mainly included the operating quality, the hub layout , intelligent transportation, the stable supply chain and melt situation and so on. We have made the new achievements in the development of China-Europe freight train, mainly as follows:

In Prof. Wang Derong view, First, the China-Europe freight train is conducive to promoting the economic and trade development of countries and regions along the route. The quantity and quality of the trains operation are constantly improving, which has been paid more and more attention by all walks of the economy and society. Second, the new progress has been made in the interconnection of the infrastructure of trains, not only to enhance the freight capacity of the international transport corridor, but also to play the role of the strategic channel of international trade. Third, the layout of the China-Europe train hub is gradually optimized. Give full play to the role of “hub to hub” in the efficient collection and distribution system. Fourth, in the context of free trade zone, the development of cross-border E-commerce of the China-Europe train has played a prominent role in the internationalization of inland cities. Fifth, the construction of the China-Europe train intelligent information platform has been steadily promoted. Intellectualization has become an important platform for trains to connect coastal ports and inland hinterland development. Sixth, China-EU has played an active role in international cargo transportation and the resumption of work, production. The stability and competitiveness of the supply chain of the China-Europe train has been put on the important agenda, which is the real “road of life” between Eurasia.

2. In your opinion, what is the significance of the development of China Europe freight trains to accelerate the construction of China’s modern integrated transportation system?

Prof. Wang Derong thinks that the development of China-EU trains plays the significant role in accelerating the construction of China’s modern comprehensive transportation system. First, the interconnection infrastructure network of the China-EU trains, including the construction of international corridors, and hubs, promoting the effective connection of domestic inter regional and international transportation networks, and strengthening the construction of the comprehensive transportation network facing the world; Second, as a high value-added cargo between China and Europe, the China-EU trains are the new supplement of transportation mode which not only strengthens the economic and trade cooperation between China and EU, but also optimizes the transportation structure of our country, and improves the logistics efficiency; Third , the R & D of equipment such as cold chain logistics of the China – EU trains, promotes the technical upgrading of comprehensive transportation equipment; Fourth, the intelligent and green construction of the China-EU trains, plays a significant exemplary role in the construction of modern comprehensive transportation system scientific and technological innovation and environmental protection conservation; Fifth, the response capacity enhancing of international emergency on the China-EU trains , promote the construction of comprehensive transportation system emergency system, and ensure the stability of global supply chain. Sixth, the integration of transportation and trade to the China-Europe train will promote the melt of a comprehensive transportation system and economy.

3. We know that Alibaba’s Cainiao Logistics also launched a special e-commerce train last year. In your opinion, what role does the construction of China’s smart logistics backbone network play in promoting the high-quality development of China Europe freight trains?

In my view, China Smart Logistic Network (CSN) is the top-level design for the high-quality development of China’s logistics industry in the new era, and it is a Chinese solution contributing to the global supply chain. CSN plays an important role in promoting the high-quality development of China- Europe train. First, CSN promotes the intensive operation of China-EU trains. CSN considers the comprehensive transportation corridors and hubs from an international perspective, and innovates the “hub to hub” transportation organization mode of trains. Second, CSN promote the international development of the train, which gives full play to the advantages of global network, provides the “one-stop” efficient service of the China- Europe train global supply chain, gives full play to the advantages of multimodal transport, and promotes the facilitation of international trade of trains. Third, CSN promotes the market-oriented construction of trains. Through the construction of train platform, CSN uses the digital port to carry out value-added services such as LCL and return pick-up, give full play to the advantages of the China-Europe train and realize the green vision. Fourth, cultivate new driving force of the train. CSN carries out cross-border e-commerce train business, integrates bonded warehousing, sorting and distribution, picking and packing, and LCL services in the qualified comprehensive bonded zone, and cultivates a new economic growth pole.

4. What are your suggestions for future investment and mergers of Chinese companies in overseas logistics and real estate infrastructure?

After recent years’ development, the platform and freight forwarding company of the China-Europe train have been “going global” and expanding international business. For the “going global” of Chinese logistics enterprises, I believe that we should adhere to the principle of opening to the outside world, judge the opportunities and challenges faced in the future, actively carry out international supply chain business, and make strategic layout planning at important hub nodes.

For the future investment and merger of Chinese enterprises in overseas real estate and other infrastructure, my suggestions are as follows: first, optimize the strategic layout of the overseas hub. Carefully analyze the development trend of local economy and trade, understand and be familiar with the local political environment, folk customs, etc., analyze and prevent risks; second, encourage the diversification of investment and financing channels. Third, to provide local economic development and employment opportunities.

5. While promoting the development of China Europe freight trains, it also requires the support of governments and civil society along the route. What can be done to the New Silkroad Discovery in this process?

In my view, the China-EU train has promoted the construction of the “the Five-Connectivity Program”, the connectivity of policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people. It needs the support of the government and the people, and the support of international public opinion is particularly important. The media of the China-Europe train industry adhere to the principle of innovation, use new media, grasp the pulse of the times, actively promote the “going out” of China’s logistics enterprises, improve the construction and reform of the global traffic governance system, promote the “Introduction” and “going out” of the China-Europe train in policies, rules, systems, technologies and standards, and enhance the international voice and influence of the industry.

6. Recently, many ministries and commissions such as the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Commerce, and the General Administration of Customs have issued guidance on the work of China Europe freight trains. What information did you read? Can you share it with our readers?

In order to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 and further play the role of the China-Europe train, many ministries and commissions in China have issued guidance on relevant work, mainly as follows: First, use the China-Europe train to help enterprises resume to work and serve Wuhan; Second, we strengthen the construction of the China-EU train assembly center, promote the diversification of China-EU train export channels; Third, enhance the internationalization of China Europe train enterprises To build an international multimodal transport logistics service network focusing on China Europe train. The fourth is to guide enterprises to make full use of the customs clearance and facilitation policies of the China-EU trains, and is to encourage the replication and promotion of the innovation results of the China-EU trains in the pilot free trade zone; the fifth is to ensure that foreign-funded enterprises can equally apply the support policies of the China EU trains; the sixth is to do a good job in the early warning and consultation of the restrictive measures of countries along with the China-EU trains, and strengthen the prevention and control of the epidemic situation of the China-EU trains. Seventh we will strengthen the stability and competitiveness of the international supply chain of China Europe trains and give priority to international cooperation in the transportation of anti-epidemic materials. Eighth, to support the development of cold chain logistics and other new industries of the China-EU trains and improve the level of information technology.

7. How do you predict and analyze the overall development trend of China Europe freight trains in the next two years?

With the outbreak of the COVID-19, China has encountered many difficulties and challenges in its development. The WTO (issued on 8 April 2020)estimates that world merchandise trade could decline by between 12.9% and 31.9% in 2020. Compared with sea transportation and air transportation, the China-EU trains still maintain normal and stable transportation, and the overall trend of development will continue to grow rapidly in the next two years.

8. Finally, what do you want to say to the New Silkroad Discovery’s readers?

I think that New Silkroad Discovery is the whole media for the high-quality development of the China-Europe Railway promoted by the Internet, which grasps the pulse of the times. The media is widely integrated with the government, entrepreneurs, experts, etc. it has a wide range of communication power and external publicity windows. The new technology, mechanism and model of news communication attracts many fans. Thanks for fans’ attention to the development of China-Europe Freight Railway. Thank you for your attention to the China-Europe Freight Railway, which is the landmark achievement of the “Belt and Road” construction is the contribution of the growth of train.


Author: Prof. Wang Derong

Mr. Wang Derong, professor, President of the Beijing Institute of Logistics & Transport of ZJX.
Professor Wang had been serving for many years at the institute of comprehensive transportation of State Economic & Trade Commission (later changed as National Development & Reform Commission) as Chief Director and Engineer successively. From 1989 up to 2018, he had been working at China Communications & Transportation Association as the Secretary and Executive Vice President.
Professor Wang is Chartered Fellow (FCILT) of CILT, is also acting as a member of National Planning Committee of Experts in 2010. Professor Wang was awarded one of the first group of experts with exceptional contribution to the nation by the State Council in1991, was honored as one of the first “Ten Top Figurers of the Time for China Logistics” in 2002, was engaged as a member of National Planning Committee of Experts for the 11th Five-Year Plan in 2005, and a member of National Planning Committee of Experts in 2010.
For years, his research fields has covered as follows: the development strategies and planning of the transportation, the economic and technical policies the transportation, the key transportation construction projects, the development and operation of the international container transportation, and the development strategy, planning and policy of logistics in China.