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This paper examines the implications of the rapid growth in demand for trade between Europe and Asia for the existing transportation network and logistics infrastructure. Trade between Asia and Europe potentially involves highways and railways, as well as ocean and air transportation. It is thus more complex than the highly developed trade between Asia and the Americas, which is of necessity focused on ports and airports. Upgrading the infrastructure to support trade with Europe will require efforts in the following major areas: 1) transportation and logistics technologies need to be improved and made compatible with each other, 2) multimodalism and modal interconnectivity need to be fully implemented, 3) capacities have to grow, facility efficiencies need to improve, 4) planning processes, and government policies need to be updated. The nature and extent of the required changes depend on the role of each country in the region, as well as the capabilities and utilization of the existing infrastructure. Based upon an assessment of each country’s major transportation modes, their logistical infrastructure, and their use of IT, the forty-eight Asian countries were grouped into three categories according to their level of development. Leading economies of the region appear to be very successful and are highly competitive in global trade. They possess an overall adequate network but in some cases their facilities are limited by space constraints or challenged by congestion. Suggestions include network optimization and use of high technology applications, such as ITS and EDI that can improve these countries’ efficiency and capacity utilization of the existing network. Developing countries of the region need to further implement best practices and attract funds for the development of their infrastructure. The quality and extent of their transport networks vary and there is a lack of coordination and integration among modes. A lack of paved roads and regional inequalities are the main concerns of their systems. These countries need to add infrastructure in all the different modes of transportation sufficient for international and interregional trade, finalize the connections within the rail, ocean, and trucking industry to facilitate multimodal trade and expand the capacity of existing routes to keep pace with traffic. They also need to attract foreign investment and lower taxation and tariffs in order to assist their economy and global positioning. Poorer and less developed countries have inadequate or non-existent infrastructure. They lack public transit modes and old vehicles operate on a largely unpaved network. Freight traffic is severely hampered by low speeds on low-capacity obsolete networks, which add delays and risks to the operation. Furthermore, cooperation with their neighboring countries is almost non-existing. These countries need to build or expand their basic infrastructure in order to assist in the transportation of their own products, and they must be able to communicate much more effectively with the rest of the world. Because of their location, some of these countries could play a greater role in international trade, but only if they achieve political stability and upgrade their networks to be compatible and connected with those of their neighbors.


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