China’s rapid economic growth has enabled the fast development of freight transport across the country.
What might the impact of future economic growth be on freight movement in China?
To answer this question, this paper establishes the link between key indicators of industrialization and freight transport through the use of a dynamic vector autoregressive model. Based on the analysis of two different scenarios, the study finds that:
- China’s freight turnover could double out to 2030 if the country remains at the later stages of industrialization.
- China could reduce the volume of its freight transport by transforming its process of industrialization through coordinated urban planning, new materials, developing high-tech industries and expanding the service sector. Together, these measures could see freight transport drop by 2.6 trillion tonne-kilometer, 6% less than under the business-as-usual model.
- Changes to the country’s economic structure may also lead to structural changes in modes of freight transportation, including an increased share for rail, the growing use of automotive transportation, and the increased use of containers in an integrated freight transport system.