Maritime Economics & Logistics

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 73–98 | Cite as

A study of dry port development in China

  • A Beresford
  • S Pettit
  • Q Xu
  • S Williams
Original Article


This article reviews the development paths of dry ports in China. Dry ports have emerged as an integral part of trade facilitation in China in the last decade and have played an important role in regional and economic development. The emergence of dry ports (offshore ports) is driven partly by proximity to main population centres or industrial areas and partly by the need to support rapidly growing container flows. However, the development paths of Chinese dry ports show several differences, depending on their location, and this article highlights and explains these. Without a clear definition, the institutional and regulatory framework for dry port development is shown to be immature and complex. While the central government has dealt with relevant institutional matters under the existing regulatory framework, decision making at a local level is under the control of municipal bodies, providing ample space for officials to interpret the intentions of central governance. Innovative policies and relationship management are major tools for addressing different institutional problems; however, the lack of a uniform set of policy guidelines raises many legal challenges. This article suggests possible solutions to the problems identified during the establishment of mature dry port facilities, with priority being given to establishing a clear legal definition of what dry ports are. From this cascades their core purpose, responsibilities and modus operandi.


dry ports China intermodal case studies institutions 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • A Beresford
    • 1
  • S Pettit
    • 1
  • Q Xu
    • 1
  • S Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Logistics and Operations Management Section, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Aberconway BuildingCardiffUK

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