China requires, among many other things, a focus on improving chemicals logistics according to industry sources.
The Yangtze River is being dredged from a depth of 7 meters to 12.5 meters along the 300 kilometers from Shanghai to Nanjing. This is due for completion this year, said Leslie McCune, managing director of UK-based chemicals logistics consultancy, Chemical Management Resources.
“This will enable chemical-parcel tankers (carrying liquid chemicals) of 40,000 tonnes and more to use the river as far as Nanjing, thereby reducing costs and increasing safety,” he added.
Over the next three years, some $300 billion is due to be spent on expanding the country’s rail network by 20,000 kilometers, including 13,000 kilometers of high-speed track.
A vastly improved road network – akin to the US interstate construction boom of the 1950s except on a bigger scale – is also designed to boost growth.
Think of all that as hard infrastructure. At the same time the “soft infrastructure” – the skills to handle the movements of more sophisticated goods, including potentially more hazardous chemicals – is being improved.
ICIS.com reported that there is still a long way to go. According to US government data quoted by the China Economic Quarterly, logistics account for an average 20% of finished-goods prices in China compared with 10% in the United States.