The State Council released a guideline on Aug 17 to further reduce costs and improve efficiency in the logistics industry in a bid to drive development of the real economy in China.
According to the guideline, administrative reform and service optimization measures should be implemented to encourage logistics operators. The measures include optimizing the management of road transport, regulating law enforcement of highway freight, and improving the assessment of freight transport licenses and permits and the inspection mechanism for logistics vehicles.
Record keeping and registering branches of logistics firms and delivery terminal sites should also be simplified, while reform to cargo clearance should cut the waiting time by one third by the end of the year.
Policy support should also be provided to reduce the burden on enterprises. The guideline requires improvements to taxation policies and a reasonable determination on fees for logistic vehicles to be made. It also suggests introducing value-added tax reform of highway tolls within 2017 and regulate illegal charges.
Weak links in the logistics industry should also be strengthened, the document states. Logistic firms’ needs should be taken into account when making rural and urban development and land usage plans. A batch of national logistics hubs with multi-transport functions and supporting regional and industrial economic development should also be established, while integration of ports, railways, highways and waterways should be strengthened.
The guideline also called for improvements to the logistics service of rail transport, a boost to the market-oriented reform of rail freight, a further increase in the rate of rail freight and support for the combination of logistics and high-speed rail.
The guideline urged efforts to make breakthroughs in inter-modality and trailer swap transport, improve the logistics network between urban and rural areas, and expand the fundraising channels of logistics firms.
The document also called for enhancing informationalized, standard and intelligent logistics distribution and storage. New and effective logistics methods using the internet should be introduced and promoted. Pilot demonstrations of smart storage should be developed. Efforts should be made to standardize loading and unloading units to improve efficiency and cut packaging and delivery costs.
According to the guideline, 60 percent of disqualified logistics vehicles will be updated or weeded out this year.
The coordinated development of logistics and manufacturing industries should be pushed. Qualified and professional logistics services should be provided to meet the upgrades of manufacturing. Big manufacturers are encouraged to open their logistics to the public and improve their logistics management capability.
Core technology and equipment research should be strengthened to promote smart equipment, such as logistics robots and automatic sorting devices.
Information sharing is also emphasized in the document. It suggests strengthening logistics data sharing among related sectors, including highways, railways, air shipping, water transportation, post offices, public security departments and customs. Cross-region and industry logistics information should also be shared and electronic management of logistics information should be promoted.
In addition, a credit system for the industry should be established and improved, the guideline said.
The document also encouraged some provinces or cities to explore a comprehensive pilot demonstration of the logistics industry to reduce costs and improve efficiency.