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Kick-off Workshop – Establish and Implement an Evaluation System for MFTH Management in China

On April 23, 2021, the kick-off workshop to the pilot project “Establish and Implement an Evaluation System for MFTH Management in China” was jointly held by the Sino-German Cooperation on Low Carbon Transport (CLCT) project of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Transport Planning and Research Institute (TPRI) of the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China (MoT).

Experts from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the China Academy of Railway Sciences (CARS), the China Academy of Transportation Sciences (CATS), the Deutsche GVZ Gesellschaft (DGG), the German Research Association for Combined Transport (SGKV), Interporto Verona and representatives of Multimodal Freight Transport Hub (MFTH) operators in China (Chengdu, Xi’An, Qingdao) attended the kick-off workshop.

Kick-off workshop; Picture Source: GIZ

Carbon dioxide emissions of freight transport account for about 65% of the total carbon emissions of China’s transport sector, which makes emissions reduction in freight transport a key to reach the 2030 carbon dioxide emission peaking and the 2060 carbon neutrality targets set by Chinese president Xi Jinping end of last year. An important means to lower emissions in the freight sector is to increase the share of multimodal transport for medium- and long-distance transport, and to effectively shift freight transport volumes from road to railway and waterway.

China’s MFTH, key nodes of the multimodal transport chains, have developed rapidly in recent years, the number of hubs has grown steadily, the supporting services of the hubs have been continuously improved, and the benign interaction and interlinkage with surrounding industries have increased significantly. However, the development of China’s MFTH is still in its infancy. 

Neither the MoT nor MFTH operators have a unified evaluation tool in place to systematically analyze MFTH’s management performance as well as their environmental and climate impacts in and to the multimodal chains and system. Therefore, it is urgent to develop and adopt an MFTH evaluation index system to:

  1. objectively evaluate the development status and service level of MFTH,
  2. provide a scientific basis for the planning and decision-making of policy makers with regards to multimodal transport,
  3. improve the service level of MFTH, and thus
  4. eventually increase the overall efficiency of MFTH and promote the low carbon development of China’s freight sector. 

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Sino-German Cooperation on Low Carbon Transport (CLCT) project aims at strengthening the cooperation between the BMU and the MoT in the field of climate protection in the transport sector. The overall aim of the project, which is being implemented by GIZ, is to provide Chinese policy makers and relevant governmental authorities with effective and efficient implementation strategies to further develop a low carbon transport sector in China.  

To support Chinese policy makers, operators and other relevant stakeholders on the further improvement of MFTH management performance toward environmental and climate-friendly development of multimodal freight transport in China, the CLCT project commissioned TPRI and DGG to jointly carry out the pilot project.

The objective of the pilot project is to:

  1. develop an evaluation methodology for building a comprehensive MFTH management evaluation system in China, with focus on management performance, service quality, as well as air pollution and GHG reduction potentials,
  2. apply the developed evaluation methodology in selected pilot MFTHs, to localize, improve and validate the methodology. Results of the pilot implementation will be examined and elaborated into policy suggestions on MFTH performance optimization objectives and measures as to economic, environment and climate indicators,
  3. provide a harmonized and standardized MFTH evaluation system for MoT, MFTH operators and other relevant stakeholders to assess, improve and unify multimodal hub management, service quality and environmental and climate performance in China,
  4. explore dissemination and upscaling potentials of the MFTH evaluation system in China and facilitate experience and knowledge sharing on environmental and climate-oriented MFTH management of multimodal logistics through the Sino-German cooperation.

During the workshop, the participants shared their experiences in the field and provided recommendations for the pilot project implementation. Mr. Nestler, managing director of DGG, introduced the German multimodal experience with freight villages, emphasizing the role of management evaluation systems in promoting the development of MFTH in Germany and the European Union (EU). Chinese experts from CARS and CATS urged to pay special attention to the role of the rail as the backbone of multimodal transport in China and advocated to tackle technical obstacles of integrating rail into MFTHs, data sharing issues, evaluation and survey mechanisms among others. In addition, the representatives of MFTH operators in China introduced their projects and infrastructure operation experiences, and pointed out the problems and difficulties they have encountered, such as transshipment between different transport modes and lack of coordination mechanisms among others.  

For more information on the pilot project, please contact us through