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Beijing pours money into river transport

Beijing pours money into river transport

Shanghai: Helping make the Yangtze more efficient to speed up cargo throughput at Shanghai's Yangshan port has become a major policy initiative of central government. One billion yuan is being set aside to develop what the South China Morning Post describes as "a new generation of ships capable of carrying cargo from inland waterways to the deepwater Yangshan Port". China Classification Society is working on the project.
"The central government strongly advocates the new river-to-ocean transportation mode and is determined to speed up its development," said Huang Rong, a director of the Shanghai Urban-Rural Development and Transport Commission. "The maritime authorities will help to make the ships travelling from the inland waterways more seaworthy."
According to research by the Shanghai People's Political Consultative Conference, less than one-third of cargoes going through Yangshan Port facilities are transported to or from the port using waterways. Most of the cargoes are delivered by road.
"If the cargo can be delivered to the ocean-bound vessels in Yangshan Port through waterways, the owners can save several hundred yuan per container," said Zhou Shiyu, a manager at Shanghai YUD International Forwarding. "The government will have to fine-tune the custom's clearance procedure before the business can really take off."
The Yangtze, which makes up two thirds of Shanghai port's throughput, has long suffered from a lack of uniform tonnage; the river being full of all sorts of vessels, small and large, ancient, and inefficient. Other major rivers around the world such as the Mississippi and the Rhine have developed specific uniform barges for cargo movement.  [23/06/09]


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