Book: Yangtze River Ports 2006

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Further to our last post on logistics developments, we are please to present details of a new book, Yangtze River Ports 2006, from Alain Charles Publishing. Details on the book’s launch can be found below.

    Greater co-operation and co-ordination at both local and central levels is key to the modernisation of the Yangtze River as a shipping channel, says a leading official from China’s Ministry of Communications in a newly-published book.

    This ongoing Yangtze development programme for the world’s most important cargo-carrying river, adds Mr Huang Qiang, Communist Party Secretary of the Yangtze River Administration of Navigational Affairs, will to a great extent determine the success of Beijing’s ‘go west’ policy, which aims to speed up economic development in China’s interior and arrest the growing divide between its eastern, coastal provinces and the central and western provinces inland. A modernised Yangtze “will make a greater contribution to the sustained economic development of the Yangtze region and far beyond”, he says in Yangtze River Ports 2006.

    The Yangtze flows through several of China’s most important industrial cities – including Chongqing, Wuhan and Nanjing – before reaching Shanghai. Already, leading multinational corporations such as Ford and BP have set up operations in the west, using the river to ship components and materials upstream and finished products downstream. More are following suit.

    The most compelling reason for this shift has been a recent deterioration in operating conditions in China’s more developed markets along the coast. Since early 2004, prices for industrial land have soared, while severe labour shortages have plagued domestic and foreign companies alike. Consequently, modernising the river and its leading ports has become a task of great urgency.

    Yangtze River Ports 2006 is the first in-depth business book devoted to this increasingly significant transport artery. It charts the fast-growing importance of the world’s third-longest river, whose traffic levels are growing at a rate of more than 25 per cent a year. Cargo volumes more than doubled between 2001 and 2005, from 310m tons to 795m tons. Container throughput is booming and leading ports such as Chongqing and Nanjing are investing heavily to increase their capacity and to improve efficiency. In 2005, the Yangtze’s 24 leading ports, excluding Shanghai, recorded a throughput of 2.6m teu, 3.8 times more than in 2000. This trend is set to continue in the future. According to official forecasts, throughput will reach 6.5m teu by 2010 and will exceed 10m teu by 2020.

    These growth levels are partly a result of increased investment. The Ministry of Communications has spent increased sums on areas such as dredging, vessel standardisation and technology, while the ports themselves have been investing in infrastructure and improving their connections to the local road and rail networks. Foreign companies are increasingly visible, especially in port management and in the supply of technology and equipment. In addition, the raised water levels in much of the upper reaches of the river, due to the Three Gorges Dam, have eased navigation in what used to be a treacherous stretch for shipping characterised by shoals and rapids.

    However, major challenges remain. For example, the locks of the Three Gorges Dam are a major bottleneck for shipping and the dam itself is creating new and uncharted patterns of silting further downstream. Add to this the 45 low bridges across the river and the shortage of funds available to improve port infrastructure and material handling equipment, and it is not surprising that the cargo-carrying potential of the river is considerably under-utilised. At the moment, nearly 80 per cent of shipping activities on the Yangtze are concentrated in the section between Shanghai and Nanjing, while less than 20 per cent of the entire river’s navigable capacity is being exploited.

    Yangtze River Ports 2006 is an indispensable guide for shipping industry and logistics professionals. It is also an essential read for foreign manufacturers, enabling them to assess the potential benefits and pitfalls involved of moving their plants inland. The book analyses government plans and their impact, along with changes to the waterway, port infrastructure and investment rules that are transforming the nature of shipping on the Yangtze. Investment opportunities and challenges are analysed in detail.

    Table: The Yangtze’s top 10 container-handling ports, 2005

    Port Throughput (thousand teu) Growth over 2004 (%)
    Nanjing 587.7 20
    Zhangjiagang 377.1 15
    Nantong 301.2 20
    Taicang 250.9 156
    Wuhan 178.0 27
    Chongqing 170.1 15
    Yangzhou 157.0 20
    Changshu 110.0 51
    Zhenjiang 98.4 29
    Chenglingji 68.0 55

    Source: Alain Charles Publishing

About the book
The book provides comprehensive and up-to-date information on all the major ports on China’s largest river. In addition, this 144-page A4 book, in English and Chinese, includes maps and charts and a wealth of data on all the leading ports. It is researched, written and edited by experts in the field of China business and shipping, and includes exclusive information about the ports secured through the co-operation of the Yangtze River Ports Association.

Chapter 1 Why developing the Yangtze has become a top priority
Chapter 2 Shipping on the Yangtze
Chapter 3 The logistics challenges
Chapter 4 Dredging and river safety
Chapter 5 The Three Gorges
Chapter 6 Investment opportunities
Chapter 7 Shanghai and Yangshan Bonded Terminals
Chapter 8 Rules, regulations, customs and port authorities
Chapter 9 Profiles of government bodies

Port profiles
Detailed information on each of the Yangtze’s 24 leading ports, from Luzhou in the west to Taicang in the east. These profiles cover a wealth of information about the ports, including future investment and purchasing plans, plus background information on each city, its economy, leading businesses and transportation network.

About the publishers
Alain Charles Publishing was the first Western business publisher to establish a representative office in China, in 1991, and at the end of this year it will publish the 10th edition of China Business Handbook, the leading business and travel guide to the China market. Based in London, ACP has been a publisher of international business titles for more than 40 years. Its publications include Communications Africa, African Review of Business and Technology, Far Eastern Agriculture, Technical Review Middle East, Oil Review Middle East and Africa and Middle East Textiles.

Yangtze River Ports 2006 is published by Alain Charles Publishing, price US$200/ Euro170/£120. Copies can be ordered via or by calling +44 (0)20 7834 7676. (Please mention the China Business Blog when ordering).

For further information contact:

In the UK: David Lammie, Editor: +44 (0)20 7834 7676 or +44 07922 285766 or email
In China: Zhang Tingting: +86 13916973734 or email

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