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Institutional Innovation: the only way for China to develop international container multimodal transport

container transportation in China and the United States started at roughly the same time. After decades of development, container transportation in the United States has entered the period of integrated logistics. The multimodal transport operators in the United States have built a complete transportation network, "door-to-door" to transport raw materials and finished products to all parts of the world. On the contrary, China has been stagnant for decades. After the reform and opening up, the Chinese government actively promoted container transportation. Eight ports in Chinese Mainland, including Shanghai and Shenzhen, have ranked among the world's top 50 container ports. In recent years, China's international container throughput has increased at an annual rate of 25% to 35%. In 2003, China's port container throughput exceeded that of the United States for the first time, leaping to the top of the world. In 2004, the national container throughput was 60.9 million TEUs, but the integrated logistics and container multimodal transport are still relatively backward. There are great differences between China and western developed countries in the development path and actual results of container transportation and international container multimodal transport, mainly due to the differences in transportation management systems and systems between the two countries. The institutional arrangement to promote the rapid development of container transportation in the United States ushered in the "container era" in the 1960s. By the 1970s, container technology was widely used in the transportation industry in the United States, which led to the second stage of the container transportation revolution in the United States: the development of modern intermodal transportation. This revolution has not changed much in container technology, but is more due to institutional changes in all aspects of the transportation system organization system and transportation distribution system. 1. Deregulation of transportation since the 1980s, the U.S. Congress and the federal government passed a series of bills, including the automobile carrier rules and regulations reform and Modernization Act, the tigers railway act with "poof" and "poof" messages on the oil delivery valve return pipe, the agreement Fee Act, the airport aviation improvement act, and the truck transportation industry rules and regulations reform act, to encourage the development of multimodal transport. The reform of laws and systems has reduced the state's control and constraints on the transportation industry, promoted the transportation industry to be closer to the free market system, and provided a broad development space for giving full play to the overall effect of container multimodal transport and integrated logistics and realizing the integration of supply chain. Deregulation enables container liner companies to establish their own intermodal routes, provide a single bill of lading and a single rate, so that both carriers and shippers benefit from the improvement of intermodal cooperation and operating efficiency. 2. The development of transportation agency system transportation agency system is another important institutional arrangement for the rapid development of container multimodal transport in the United States. Professional transportation agents optimize the allocation of resources from the perspective of organizational and institutional innovation. International multimodal transport is an advanced form of cargo transport organization for the convenience of shippers and shippers. The multimodal transport operator signs a transport contract with the shipper to uniformly organize the whole process of transportation, one consignment, one order to the end, one charge, unified claim settlement, and be responsible for the whole journey. 3. The government promotes and supports the U.S. government to play an extremely important role in the construction of container transportation and multimodal transportation system. The U.S. Department of transportation takes the establishment of a professional national multimodal transport system as its main task. "It is the policy of the United States to develop a national multimodal transportation system. This transportation system should be able to provide the basis for enhancing the competitiveness of the United States economy and make efficient use of energy. This system is composed of the unification and intersection of various specific transportation modes, including future transportation modes". 4. Vigorously develop container combined transport. The most common multimodal transport combination is highway railway combined transport, which combines the flexibility of short-distance vehicles with the low-cost of long-distance railways for longer-distance transport. The most famous and widely used multimodal transportation system is piggyback transportation, which is a highway railway intermodal transportation in which trucks, trailers or containers are loaded on Railway slabs. Tofc (flat car loaded Road Trailer) is to load 2 or 3 Road trailers on a flat car 85 feet or longer; COFC (flat car loading container) is to load 20 foot or 40 foot containers with a flat car. Truck trailers or containers are put on railway flat cars for long-distance transportation between cities. The rest of the journey, including "door-to-door", is completed by truck hauling. Since the development of tofc transportation, various combinations of trailers or containers loaded on flatbed vehicles, including double deck trains, have made significant development. The impact of China's institutional arrangements on the development of container transportation and multimodal transport 1 The planned transportation system restricts the development of container transportation. Before the reform and opening up, China's transportation was directly organized by the government. Transportation enterprises are only micro production units that provide transportation products, not really self financing enterprises. In 1958, the railway container transportation management department was abolished and the container transportation service was stopped. In the 1970s, the rapid growth of container transportation in the world's major developed countries attracted the attention of the central leadership, and China's container transportation began to restart. At this time, it has been far behind the western developed countries for nearly 20 years. 2. The government pushed container transportation out of stagnation. In 1977, the Ministry of Railways decided to resume container transportation. In the 1980s, the State Planning Commission, foreign trade, transportation, railway and other departments cooperated to promote the "industrial test of container multimodal transport". In the 1990s, the government formulated various laws, regulations and decisions to support the development of container transportation. Among them, the "international container multimodal transport management rules" was issued in 1997, and the "several opinions on accelerating the development of container transport" was issued in 2002, emphasizing the establishment of an efficient and unified management and coordination mechanism, improving the port service environment, improving the efficiency of port inspection, strengthening the construction of container transport support and guarantee system, and promoting the development of container multimodal transport. 3. The marketization of transportation has promoted the rapid development of container transportation by water and road. With the transformation from the planned economic system to the market economic system, the Ministry of communications has been separated from its affiliated enterprises, and a competitive transportation market structure has been established. Water and road transportation have formed institutional arrangements with diversified investment subjects, and a number of Sino foreign cooperative, joint venture enterprises have emerged to build and operate container terminals. These years have witnessed the fastest development of container transportation by water and road. 4. The current railway operation and management system leads to the slow development of container transportation, the backward reform of railway marketization and the decline of competitiveness. According to experts' estimates, 1/3 of China's pieces and groceries can be transported in containers. However, the railway container traffic volume in 1997 was 137000 TEU, accounting for only 1% of the import and export containers at 36 ports in China. The container traffic volume was 47.49 million tons, accounting for only 2.33% of the national railway shipment volume that year. China Railway Container Transportation Co., Ltd. plans to operate 25 pairs of trains per day by 2006, with an annual delivery volume of 1.8 million TEU. Internationally, the railway traffic volume of developed countries is 30~40% of the wharf throughput, and the Yantian port area of Shenzhen accounts for only 1 ‰. There are 7000-9000 heavy containers in the Pearl River Delta every day, and less than 5 trains are carried. There are many reasons for the great gap between China and the developed countries in the world: first, the influence of the planning system is deep-rooted. The integration of government and enterprises, lagging reform, lack of funds, lack of stamina. Second, compared with highway transportation, it lacks competitiveness in terms of time and price. Cumbersome procedures, long stay at the station after transportation, many intermediate links, long turnover time, and no time competitiveness compared with road transportation. The price of special container trains will be increased by 30%. The price of container freight is 1.5 times that of groceries, and there are many miscellaneous fees, which does not reflect the advantage of cheap railway freight. Short distance transportation: there are goods and transportation capacity, but the price and time cannot meet the market demand. The goods from Shenzhen Yantian to Guangzhou must pass through pinghunan (23km, 1.5-3-hour marshalling), Jiangcun (120km, 3-5-hour marshalling), Dalang (more than 20km, 2-hour marshalling). For the goods in this section, the automobile transportation costs 1800-2000 yuan, and the train transportation costs about 4000 yuan. Long distance transportation: many exported frozen food, vegetables, cans, etc. in Kunming are transported to the port by car, and the train freight is about 8000 yuan, but exporters prefer to choose car transportation, with the freight of 21000 yuan. Fourth, the degree of standardization is not high, and it is difficult to integrate with international standards. 80% of railway containers in China are 1 ton, 5 ton and 10 ton containers, and the technical standards of standard containers are not in line with international standards. Fifth, the system caused a shortage of funds. China's railway is not open to the outside world and cannot be financed from a variety of financing channels. At present, there are only two channels to obtain construction funds. The first is the construction fund included in the price of goods transportation, and the second is long-term borrowing. In the field of waterway transportation, the way of investment has been basically liberalized, and about 32% of China's completely blank ways such as joint venture, cooperation, contracting, BOT and financial leasing can be used for financing projects, so there are extensive channels and sufficient funds. Sixth, a modern enterprise system and a scientific and reasonable governance institution have not been established. The specific business unit is not a real stakeholder, and cannot have the pricing power, income right, distribution right, etc. for its own business items, it can neither mobilize the enthusiasm of the business unit, nor produce business decisions that truly conform to the law of market competition. Institutional Innovation: the only way for the development of international container multimodal transport in China 1 To establish a unified transportation management system, it is necessary to establish an authoritative and unified transportation management and coordination organization to comprehensively coordinate the planning of the transportation network, so as to improve the efficiency of the whole transportation system. 2. Deregulation of transportation deregulation of Railways mainly includes: first, liberalizing transportation prices so that transportation enterprises can set prices flexibly according to the volume of goods transported, distance, season, supply and demand, mode of cooperation, etc. Second, open the market, allow investors from other economic sectors to enter, and allow investors to carry out various forms of financing in an internationally accepted way. Third, transport enterprises are allowed to freely carry out mergers and acquisitions in accordance with the company law and the principles of market economy to achieve a reasonable scale of operation. Fourth, the railway is allowed to finance in various ways. 3. Strengthen legislation. The government must strengthen the legislation on transportation to ensure that the domestic transportation market, transportation management system and transportation technical standards are in line with international standards, and effectively improve the efficiency of China's container transportation. The state should guarantee the development of international container multimodal transport with corresponding laws. 4. Unified planning for transportation, communication and energy in 1994, the European Union formed the overall plan of the pan European Network (TENS). The EU treaty forces its members to participate in the organization and development of infrastructure such as transport, communications and energy supply, as well as pan European networks. Pan European network includes all kinds of transportation infrastructure network, transportation management positioning system and shipping system. Among them, transportation measures account for 80% of the total budget of the pan European network, and most of the investment is used to build fast railways, connect major cities, and improve the congestion of highway transportation. China should take the lead of a unified transportation management department to plan the country's comprehensive transportation network and focus on supporting its weak links. 5. Establish a unified national container public transportation information platform. The low efficiency of international container transportation is largely due to the poor flow of information. The national transportation management department or industry association can take the lead to establish a national public information platform for container transportation, along with customs, inspection and quarantine, border inspection, maritime affairs, port supervision, terminals, trailer companies, warehousing companies, railways, shipping companies, cargo agents, and customs declaration agents, following the settlement mode of the financial system

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