Economic Activity on the Yangtze

Monday, May 9, 2011 1:33
Posted in category Uncategorized

While relaxing on my recent trip up middle reaches of the Yangtze, I took an opportunity to capture some of the Yangtze’s economic activities. To be honest, while I have been to a number of the ports along the lower reaches, and I have seen plenty of economic booms in my time in China, what I saw on the Yangtze was fascinating .. and at times downright scary

With the increased economic activity that is coming from the river, relocation projects, and general movement of people from the county side to the city, there are now about a dozen cities along the Yangtze that have grown from small port cities to legitimate populations of 1-3 million. In some cases, it is clear that the city depends solely on the Yangtze for its access, while other cities are clearly positioning themselves as hubs that link to other areas (provincial and regional)


The fact that the Yangtze is an active river is not news to anyone, but the variety of goods making their way up and down the river is wide. While speaking to a few people, the one interesting nugget of information is that due to the high prices of gas an active trade in fully loaded trucks exists. that, instead of driving from Chengdu to Shanghai, the truck will be loaded onto a boat and sent down the river as far as it can go. A common site. Another common site is the fully loaded container ships headed downstream, and the half loaded container ships headed upstream. A fact that reinforces what I was hearing several years back (and follows a general trade pattern globally) that trade on the river is largely high volume materials going upstream and finished products coming down stream.

The most interesting ship I saw would have to be the car carriers, of which I saw a handful, or the construction sites that were being fed by barges. Watching the offloading of each was interesting.


The Random:

In this series of pictures, I have a bit of everything. Mountain top removal project. tree planting (one of many). A couple of coal depots. the high voltage cables at the three gorges energy… and the grand prize…a project that has turned a religious icon into a mountaintop hotel.

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3 Responses to “Economic Activity on the Yangtze”

  1. Fons Tuinstra's home » Antwerp beat Rotterdam in direct rail link to China says:

    May 9th, 2011 at 4:51 am

    […] news connects nicely with a report on AllRoadsLeadtoChina, noting that the Yangtze showed increased economic activity, including vessels carrying trucks […]

  2. Fabrizio says:

    May 10th, 2011 at 5:46 am

    very cool, I really hope to take a boat up the river next time I am there. I’m afraid that every day I wait, a little bit of the old yangtze disappears.

  3. Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    May 12th, 2011 at 1:52 am

    The issue you touch on is that the logistics situation in Chongqing is a dealbreaker. Nice local market, appalling to get stock out of it. Scottish & Newcastle Brewery pulled out of Chongqing last year because they couldn’t find a way to sell their products viably from Chongqing into the rest of China. While the Yangtze shipping companies retain their monopoly there, and cannot upgrade their performance to anything approaching industry standards, Chongqing will remain a closed city and not a distribution hub for the rest of China – or even Sichuan. – Chris