One Belt One Road promises intermodal benefits

Credit: APM Terminals



China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative promises to be a strong driving force of intermodal transport, stated Gu Zhongdong, deputy general manager of China COSCO Shipping Container Lines at Global Trade and Container Transport Conference in Shanghai on 14 June.

Intermodal transport is being boosted as projects associated with the OBOR initiative are growing. The sea-rail expresses across Asia and Europe save five to seven days compared with shipping, greatly reducing cost and time, highlighted Gu.

China COSCO Shipping Container Lines keeps expanding services along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road. It has opened seven far east-Southeast Asia and Intra Southeast Asia services, three new routes from Southeast Asia to Australia as well as a trade route from China to the Mediterranean. 

Intermodal transport will see a golden time of development as the One Belt and One Road involves more countries and brings in more trade, stated Zhang Wei, Vice President of Chinese Academy of International Trade and Cooperation.

OBOR would include 65 countries, 4.4 billion people and about 40% of global GDP. In 2014 China’s trade with the One Belt One Road countries was USD1 trillion, a figure expected to double in the next 10 years according to Zhang.

More and more investors will be attracted to the Belt and Road, a source from Far East Leasing told IHS Fairplay, and intermodal transport will be boosted as trade with the One Belt One Road countries keeps booming, the source added.

The 'Belt' is a network of overland routes, including roads and rail, oil and natural gas pipelines, and other infrastructure projects that will expand from China through Central Asia and go to as far as Moscow, Rotterdam, and Venice. Rather than one route, belt corridors are set to run along the major Eurasian Land Bridges, through China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central-West Asia, China-India, China-Pakistan, Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar.

The 'Road' is its maritime equivalent: a network of ports and coastal projects that dot the map from South and Southeast Asia to East Africa and the northern Mediterranean Sea.

The initiative is expected to stimulate Asian and global economic growth and make it more sustainable. Countries along the OBOR, including China, may experience a boost in trade flows and benefit from infrastructure development.​

Contact Angela Yu