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Container Sea Ports and Dry Ports: Future CO2 Emission Reduction Potential in China

School of Economics & Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
LUT Kouvola, LUT University, Kouvola 45100, Finland
Department of E-Commerce, Luoyang Normal University, Luoyang 471934, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1515;
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dry Ports and Sustainable Futures)
PDF [1741 KB, uploaded 13 March 2019]


Nowadays, China dominates logistics volumes, and its container logistics is associated with the largest sea ports, such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Ningbo. However, China’s coastal line is long and contains numerous million-container-handling sea ports. Current leading sea ports are located mostly in the south or at the middle point of the coastal line. Volumes are rather concentrated in these few areas. Despite the fact that China’s vast population is well-spread throughout the coastal line, major cities are also located in the hinterlands. Apart from some regions (e.g., the Pearl and the Yangtze River Delta) where there are many cities that are very close to each other, distances between cities are rather long in general. Therefore, this research examines the CO2 emission reduction potential of using a larger number of sea ports (such as distribution hubs), as well as the interaction of these with analytically chosen dry ports. Results of the hypothetical country level container transportation model, using linear integer programming concerning 51 cities (largest hinterland and container sea port cities), showed that better and more equal use of sea ports serving the major cities will result in considerable emission reductions. This is the case, even if hinterland transport is completely based on road transports. However, in a situation where the dry port structure with railways is further applied, the results showed that it should be concentrated on a few hinterland points first, but also assure that most remote, million-people city locations get priority for the railway. View Full-Text
Keywords: dry ports; sea ports; China; CO2 emissions; analytical model dry ports; sea ports; China; CO2 emissions; analytical model

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Li, W.; Hilmola, O.-P.; Panova, Y. Container Sea Ports and Dry Ports: Future CO2 Emission Reduction Potential in China. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1515.

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