Get to Know the Yangtze River

Aug. 11, 2006
Intermodal Freight Transport by David Lowe covers the development of intermodal transport from a different perspective a European point of view. Shifting

Intermodal Freight Transport by David Lowe covers the development of intermodal transport from a different perspective – a European point of view. Shifting to the Far East, Yangtze River Ports 2006 by David Lammie offers an inside view of why it is important to China to develop the Yangtze River Delta and what is being done to prepare its ports and logistics infrastructure for this role in the economic development of the region and the nation.

While the U.S. has been busy celebrating its leading role in the creation of intermodalism, David Lowe examines intermodal freight transport from a more global perspective. Setting the stage with some of the technologies that are less developed in the U.S., including short sea shipping, Lowe asks and answers, Why intermodalism now?

It was the short-sea routes between the U.K. and Europe that redeveloped after World War II that saw the rise of roll-on/roll-off and unitized loads. But Lowe gives long-postponed Channel Tunnel a large measure of credit for reviving interest in road-It was the Napoleonic Wars and technology that kept the Channel Tunnel from progressing from early concept to current reality. No longer fearing invasion from France, the U.K. worked jointly to the successful opening of the tunnel in 1994. The tunnel's first traffic was limited to cargo.

But even before the Channel Tunnel had opened, the mood was changing and setting the stage for a more cooperative transport network under the evolving European Union. The Treaty of Rome, generally acknowledged as the founding document for the EU, set a goal of the free movement of goods, people and commerce, and that, along with market demands, helped further the cause of intermodalism in Europe.

The last 10 years have seen dramatic change in the regulations governing the transport industry in Europe, and Lowe examines how this has been beneficial to the growth of intermodalism. He also discusses issues like carrier liability, documentation, customs requirements and safety.

Intermodal Freight Transport is published by Elsevier-Heinemann (

On the other side of the globe, David Lammie examines the Yangtze River, which China's Huang Qiang calls "the world's most important cargo-carrying river." The Communist Party Secretary of the Yangtze River Administration of Navigational Affairs can be excused for some of his enthusiasm given his official role, but as Lammie points out, the Yangtze flows through several of China's most influential cities, including Chongquing, and Nanjing, before reaching Shanghai. Cargo volumes more than doubled between 2001 and 2005.

The Ministry of Communications has spent vast sums on dredging, vessel standardization and technologies while the ports themselves have invested in infrastructure and improved connections with local road and rail networks. That isn't the end of the story, and Lammie describes future needs and plans in an indispensable guide to the region's logistics. Yangtze River Ports 2006 is available through