PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (11): 1332-1339.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.11.002

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Transport hinterlands of border ports by China-Europe express trains and hub identification

Jiaoe WANG1,2(), Jingjuan JIAO3, Yue JING1,2, Li MA1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing, 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
  • Online:2017-12-07 Published:2017-12-07
  • Contact: Li MA;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41722103, 41371536;Key Consulting Project of the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology Strategic Consulting, No.Y02015001;A Category of Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences


Since the initiative of the Belt and Road strategy, the Chinese government greatly encourages the operation of China Railway Express (CR express), aiming to transform China's traditional international trading transport system. The growth of CR express helps to strength the transport role of the New Eurasian Land Bridge and promotes change of China's transport system for international trading from single maritime transport to a combination of maritime and land transport. The largest barrier for developing CR express, however, is that the freight sources are dispersed and the transport organization is nonstandard. This has led to the disorderly competition for international container transport due to the very recent growth of transport volume, which is brought by subsidies of local governments. This study examined the development history and problems in the last five years since the operation of the first CR express, and pointed out that the Chinese government must understand that the CR express cannot compete with the maritime transport for freight going from China to the EU market. The CR express has its economic transport hinterlands from the border ports and it is necessary to establish a hub-and-spoke transport mode at the national level and build the transport hubs for profiting from the operation of CR express. A model was built to define the economical transport hinterlands of the three border ports in China-Alashankou, Erenhot, and Manzhouli. The result indicates that Northeast China is the hinterlands of Alashankou and Northwest China is the hinterlands of Manzhouli. Other hinterland areas are defined by the traffic rate abroad from Erenhot. Finally, the article identifies the transport hubs for CR express including Chongqing, Urumqi, Harbin, Zhengzhou, among others, and puts forward suggestions and police recommendations to the Chinese government.

Key words: Silk Road, China Railway Express, land transport, rail, border port