Delft University of Technology
Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Transport Technology

Z. Wang Chinese Inland Waterway Transportation
Literature survey, Report 2004.TL.6801, Transport Engineering and Logistics.

Inland waterway transportation (IWT) has been recognized as an important way for distributing goods. From the advantage viewpoint, it offers competitive rates, is environmentally friendly and congestion free, consumes relatively less energy, and is less costly to build. It also makes the transportation of hazardous freight and large-size cargoes and heavy lift cargoes easier. Alternatively, there is a longer transit time and lower reliability of service effected by weather conditions, water level, port's conditions, etc..

China is the largest country in the world in population. Since the implementation of reform and open policy in the early 80s, Chinese economy has experienced a dramatic growth in more than 20 years and is stili believed to be able to keep growing stably in years. The booming economy results in correspondent transportation development in terms of increasing capacity, improving efficiency and effectiveness, and rising competitiveness, etc.. Although Chinese government has invested a huge amount of money in transportation field, the development of transportation still lags behind the development of economy. Fortunately, the government is well aware of the situation and is constructing or planning many transportation projects in order to improve the nationwide transportation network as quickly as possible.

Having the second longest river system in the world, Chinese IWT has enormous space to utilize and develop. By now, IWT is mainly taken place in the Yangtze River, the Pearl River and the Grand Canal. Lacking recognition and investment, most rivers have never been channelized and upgraded and still stay in natural condition. Lots of dams and hydraulic facilities have no ship locks or lifts for transportation purposes. The facilities in the ports are in poor condition and the operation and management of ports are still under an elementary level as well. Anyway, although Chinese IWT is confronting many problems, the future is certainly bright.

Reports on Transport Engineering and Logistics (in Dutch)
Modified: 2004.09.23; , TU Delft / 3mE / TT / LT.