General Secretary Xi Jinping's Speech During Chongqing Inspection Inspires Transportation Industry to Innovate and Improve the Construction and Operation of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) in the Western Region

At the the control center of the dry port of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) in the western region, located in the Chongqing International Logistics Hub Park, a large screen displays real-time data on the operation and dispatch of the Corridor, including train orders, bookings, train volumes, cargo value, coverage area, and comprehensive services. This center is the "brain" of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC)  of the western region and also the first stop on General Secretary Xi Jinping’s inspection tour in Chongqing.

On April 22, General Secretary Xi Jinping made an inspection tour of the Chongqing International Logistics Hub Park. He stressed that stressed that logistics is the lifeline of the real economy. The construction of this Corridor is of great significance in promoting the formation of an opening-up pattern featuring "building connections with other countries over land and sea while facilitating mutual assistance between eastern and western region". All related parties should make concerted efforts to do a good job in building and managing this signature project, so as to advance the high-level opening up in the western and inland regions.. Logistics parks should actively leverage advanced technologies, continue innovating the multimodal transportation and, improve scientific management levels, so as to play a greater role in building a modern logistics system.

Xu Ren'an, Secretary of the Party Committee and Director of Chongqing Commission of Transportation, stated that Chongqing's transportation system will keep Xi's earnest instructions in mind, striving to "build itself into a key strategic fulcrum for the development of China's western region in the new era and a comprehensive hub for inland opening up". The city take the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle as the "No. 1 Project" , use the construction of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC)  in the western region as a key driver, and lead with the pilot program for developing China’s transportation strength, accelerate the construction of a "2-hour Chongqing," fully establish the "4-direction, 3-axis, 6-corridor" main transportation framework, and essentially complete the "123 Travel Traffic Circle" and "123 Express Cargo and Logistics Circle." This will promote the creation of more landmark achievements in building a strong transportation city, paving the way for writing its own chapter in advancing Chinese modernization.

Transforming Corridor Logistics Advantages into Economic and Opening-Up Advantages

Chongqing, with numerous logistics corridors and ports, serves as the operational and organizational center for the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC)  in the western region, the China-Europe Railway Express Hub, and the shipping center for the upper Yangtze River. "To this end, Chongqing has established a dedicated office at the provincial department level responsible for port and logistics—Chongqing Port and Logistics Office—to better leverage the role of various open corridors and take the lead to firmly promote the reform and opening-up in the western region." said Yang Lin, a port and logistics official with the municipal government. He reported to the General Secretary on site on how Chongqing plays the key role of an operational organization center in the construction of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC)  in the western region..

"In 2023, some 180,000 TEUs of goods worth approximately 28 billion yuan were transported through three main modes of transport organizations via the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC)  in the western region , rising 21 percent and 16 percent year on year, respectively,” said Yang Lin. These figures show a 60-fold increase in freight volume and an 87-fold increase in cargo value compared to when Chongqing first launched the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC)  trains in 2017.

Furthermore, Chongqing has achieved the interconnection of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) in the western region with other logistics corridors. In 2023, the Corridor interconnected with China-Europe freight trains and Golden Waterway of the Yangtze River, transporting 92,500 TEUs of goods, a year-on-year increase of 62%.

In the first quarter of this year, the freight transportation scale of Chongqing via the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) in the western region also achieved a good start: the three main modes of transportation organization transported a total of 50,000 TEUs of goods, worth approximately 9.2 billion yuan, rising 39 percent and 54 percent year-on-year, respectively.. Among them, the rail-sea intermodal train trip running along the new International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) transported 44,000 TEUs of goods,, a year-on-year increase of 42.66 percent; the goods value was 6.989 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 81.78 percent.

Chongqing Makes Breakthroughs in Freight Volume and Innovates in Operation Methods for the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor in the western region

For example, Chongqing has explored the "one bill of lading" for rail-sea intermodal train trip running along the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), forming the "one-time entrustment, one-time insurance, one bill to the end, one-time settlement." services for the entire trip. They also innovated the direct loading of railway containers onto ships for export and sea containers onto trains, eliminating the process of intermediate container exchange, saving time and reducing costs.

General Secretary Xi Jinping underscored the significance of logistics in promoting the greater openness and development of the western region, and encouraged workers to continue working hard, achieving new progress and making more contributions. The officials in the transportation industry have expressed their determination to boldly break new ground and take on responsibilities, striving to work together with all relevant parties to promote cost reduction, quality improvement, and efficiency enhancement in logistics. They are committed to transforming the logistics advantages of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor into economic and opening-up advantages for the high-quality development of the western region.

Expanding the "Circle of Friends" for Extensive Consultation, Joint Contribution and Shared Benefits

Since the opening of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), Chongqing has consistently adhered to the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits. As the operation organization center of the Corridor, Chongqing has taken the lead in convening inter-provincial joint meeting of the "13+2" provinces (regions, cities) along the Corridor to discuss major construction projects.

As early as 2017, when the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) in the western region began regular operations, Chongqing reached consensus with Guangxi to invite more provinces (regions, cities) to join the Corridor construction. Subsequently, Guizhou and Gansu quickly responded, and the four regions signed a framework agreement for joint construction of the Corridor, marking the formal establishment of an inter-provincial cooperation mechanism for the New Corridor Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC).

In 2018, as an operation center, Chongqing cooperated with Guangxi, Guizhou, Gansu, and Qinghai has invited Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, Yunnan and Qinghai provinces to participate China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity, committing to the integrated development of the Southern Transport Corridor.

In October 2019, representatives from the 12 western provinces (regions, cities), Hainan Province, and Zhanjiang City in Guangdong Province, gathered in Chongqing to jointly sign the "Framework Agreement on Jointly Building the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC)."

In July 2022, Huaihua City in Hunan Province, attended the second inter-provincial joint meeting of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor held in Chongqing, marking Huaihua City's official membership in the new Corridor "circle of friends" and establishing a new pattern of "13+2" joint construction.

Cities such as Nanchang in Jiangxi, Wuhan in Hubei, Zhengzhou and Xinxiang in Henan, and Shijiazhuang in Hebei, have also actively participated in the construction of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) and have established cooperative relationships with Chongqing.

Besides domestic expansion, the international "circle of friends" for the Corridor is also continuously developing.

In his report to General Secretary Xi Jinping, Yang Lin introduced that in nearly 8 years of operation, Chongqing has not only opened the main corridor (Chongqing-Qinzhou) but also opened up three additional corridors China-Laos-Thailand Railway, the China-Vietnam Railway, and the China-Myanmar Railway. These routes have expanded the Corridor's coverage and opened up markets for cargo sources..

A set of data further illustrates the expanding "circle of friends" of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor: In 2019, the Corridor radiated into 88 countries, but it now covers 120 countries; in 2019, the Corridor connected with just over 200 ports, but it now expands to 503 ports, achieving global sourcing and selling.

Applying More New Technologies and Models to the Corridor Construction

keeping Xi's requirements in mind , Chongqing will apply more new technologies and models to the construction of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor. "Overall, our goal is to achieve 'two increases and one decrease,' that is, to increase transportation volume and cargo value while reducing costs," said Yang Lin. This is the overarching goal for Chongqing in constructing the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC).

To achieve this goal, Chongqing has two key strategies: developing "entities" and building the "digital ILSTC."

The Corridor drives logistics, logistics drives trade, and trade drives industry. Relying on a comprehensive hub for inland opening up, Chongqing is accelerating the construction of a hub port industrial park, planning the layout of the "pilot areas, expansion areas, and linkage development areas.” The pilot and expansion areas form "one core," while the "two corridors" layout supports the linkage development area.Among them, the pilot areas of “two sides of a river, three areas of linkage” have been recently built, including the Xipeng area of Jiulongpo in the north of the Yangtze River, the Jiangjin Zhiping area and the Luohuang area in the south of the Yangtze River, to jointly build advanced equipment sets base, materials base, and modern logistics and supply chain service industry base.

Relying on Chongqing’s digital infrastructure and the “single window” of international trade, the “New Digital Land-Sea Trade Corridor” builds an open, shared and safe public service platform for “13+2” provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities). The platform includes the core business of port logistics, and has built application scenarios such as smart sea-rail transport and smart Yangtze River logistics to promote system interconnection and information sharing among all parties in the corridor, and ultimately lead the cross-border logistics work system reconstruction, business process reengineering, and system and mechanism reshaping.

Chongqing will also build more application scenarios, such as smart international rail transport, cross-border highway logistics and cold chain logistics, to realize the functions of “rail-highway coordination, cross-border highway passing code, cold chain logistics one code traceability”.

It is foreseeable that with the gradually expanding radiation scope of the Western New Land-Sea Corridor and the continuous implementation of global buying and selling, the New Digital Land-Sea Corridor will play more and more important roles in different scenarios.

Source from: China Traffic News