Ningbo: A rising transportation hub boosting China's inland exports

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated:  December 29, 2023 L M S


A view of Ningbo Zhoushan Port in East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo/cnnb.com.cn]

Ningbo, a pivotal transportation hub in China, has risen to prominence as a crucial catalyst in boosting exports from the nation's inland cities.

With its well-developed sea-borne transportation capabilities, the coastal city, located in East China's Zhejiang province, has actively advanced freight rail links with inland cities. This initiative facilitates the efficient transportation of containers from landlocked areas to Ningbo via railways before shipping them overseas, and vice versa.

These concerted efforts have yielded remarkable results. According to official statistics, the volume of containers transported through Ningbo's rail-sea intermodal transportation system has surpassed 1.65 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) this year, marking a 13.7 percent increase compared to the previous year. This achievement has propelled Ningbo to become the second-largest port in China in terms of total container throughput.

To date, Ningbo has launched over 100 sea-rail intermodal transportation routes, including 25 fixed daily scheduled trains, with services covering 16 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government, as well as 65 prefecture-level cities nationwide. 

A notable example of Ningbo's success is the express train service opened by the city earlier this year to Chongqing municipality. This service has brought significant benefits, including improved transportation efficiency and reduced logistics costs, to the southwestern region of the country.

The inauguration of this service specifically addresses the transportation requirements of high-value-added goods such as electronic products, automotive parts, industrial machinery and components, and chemicals in the region. Its introduction has resulted in a reduction of transportation time for goods from the western hinterland to Ningbo to just two days.

Looking at the bigger picture, from 2021 to 2023, Ningbo has recorded a sea-rail intermodal business volume of 4.25 million TEUs, generating approximately 600 million yuan ($84.57 million) in logistics business revenue. This development is estimated to result in energy savings of over 3.2 billion yuan and a reduction in transportation costs by more than 850 million yuan.