Sustainable port-hinterland intermodal development: Opportunities and challenges for China and India

Yimiao Gu, Hui Shan Loh, Wei Yim Yap


This paper reviews and compares the opportunities and challenges in terms of port and intermodal development in China and India—the two fast-growing economic giants in the world. The study analyzes the future direction of these two countries’ port-hinterland intermodal development from the sustainability perspective. Both China and India face some major opportunities and challenges in port-hinterland intermodal development. The proposal of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), offers plentiful opportunities for China. A challenge for China is that its development of dry ports is still in the infancy stage and thus it is unable to catch up with the pace of rapid economic growth. As compared with China, India focuses more on the social aspect to protect the welfare of its residents, which in turn jeopardizes India’s port-hinterland intermodal development in the economic sense. The biggest challenge for India is its social institution, which would take a long time to change. These in-depth comparative analyses not only give the future direction of port-hinterland intermodal development in China and India but also provide references for other countries with similar backgrounds.


port; intermodal transport; sustainable development; dry port; Belt and Road Initiative

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