The United States said it will support two activities to assist China’s efforts to develop its rail and port sectors.
U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Leocadia I. Zak and Transportation Department Assistant Secretary Susan Kurland made the announcement at the 5th U.S.-China Transportation Forum in Hangzhou late last week.
The first activity is a technical workshop focused on heavy-haul rail development in China. The workshop will be led by DOT's Federal Railroad Administration, in coordination with the Chinese Ministry of Rail (MOR) and the American Rail Working Group, an organization composed of more than 25 companies.
Following the rapid development of China’s passenger rail network, MOR is now making plans for more heavy-haul rail to improve cargo-shipping efficiency and lower operation costs. The United States has the largest heavy-haul railroad network in the world, and experienced U.S. firms have the latest technology and products that can assist China in achieving its transportation goals, U.S. government officials said.
The Heavy Haul Rail Technical Workshop will call on U.S. expertise and resources to foster greater cooperation among private-sector entities, government agencies, and industry representatives in both the United States and China.
The second activity announced is a Green Ports Study Tour that will bring up to 12 delegates from the Chinese Ministry of Transport (MOT), Maritime Safety Administration, and port authority operators to the United States to introduce them to U.S. technology designed to reduce harmful emissions and improve energy efficiency at ports, inland waterways and maritime networks.
“The study tour offers an excellent opportunity to bring together U.S. DOT policy experts, green tech manufacturing companies, and consultancy firms with key Chinese decision makers for the purpose of increasing U.S. exports and assisting China overcome its environmental challenges in the port sector,” USTDA and DOT said.
Earlier this year, USTDA, in cooperation with DOT and MOT, hosted two additional study tours in the transportation sector. In August, the Transportation Safety and Disaster Coordination Study Tour introduced Chinese officials to U.S. technologies for roadways and mass transit systems. In early November, USTDA hosted Chinese officials on a study tour focused on maritime operations and safety. This visit familiarized Chinese transportation leaders with U.S. best practices and technologies in the areas of maritime transportation operations, safety, and environmental protection.
The Heavy Haul Technical Workshop is expected to take place in early 2013 and is being organized by the National Electrical Manufacturing Association under the USTDA-funded U.S.-China Standards and Conformity Assessment program.
Also last Friday, USTDA presided over the signing of an agreement between U.S. firm Rolta International and Chinese firm Nanjing Sample Technology Group, Ltd. for a USTDA-funded pilot project.
In September, USTDA awarded a grant to Nanjing Sample Technology Group to fund a pilot project and feasibility study that will evaluate an integrated geospatial transportation system for the city of Nanjing. As host of the 2014 Youth Olympics and one of China's top metropolitan growth centers, Nanjing has made the deployment of the transportation system a top priority. This project further supports China's efforts to create “smart cities by better integrating technologies and real-time data through advance geospatial solutions, while also opening business opportunities for U.S. companies looking to expand their sales into the Chinese market,” USTDA said.
Atlanta-based Rolta, a provider of IT solutions, will complete the study that will integrate Nanjing's transportation data in real-time, thereby providing municipal transportation managers with better decision-making tools for both near- and long-term traffic planning. “The pilot project will further demonstrate the system's benefits and provide a solid benchmark for the costs and challenges associated with full-scale implementation,” USTDA said.