Panteia advises Dutch ministry of Infrastructure on the New Silk Road

published: 17-10-2018

Panteia will carry out a study into the effects on the Netherlands of the Chinese ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative, assigned by the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

The current increase of rail freight transport between China and Europe, as well as the scale of the OBOR initiative, are expected to have an effect on the total freight transport between Asia and Europe. Panteia will construct a concise description of the current and future market situation, which will be translated into a practicable policy advice for the Dutch government.

Announced in 2013 by Chinese president Xi Jinping, the OBOR initiative – also known as the ‘New Silk Road’ – comprises two key elements. On the one hand, development of the ‘Maritime Silk Road’ is aimed at maritime connectivity between coastal regions and their hinterlands in South-East Asia and the Middle East. The ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’, on the other hand, is to bring about economic integration and remove infrastructure bottlenecks in Central Asia as well as South-East Asia. This includes improved rail freight connections between China and Europe.

Impact on the Netherlands
The OBOR initiative and the increase of rail freight transport between China and Europe give rise to a number of questions for the Dutch government, especially with regard to policy. What is the current market situation and how will it develop over the next years? What business opportunities are there and where do these meet with obstacles? What are the vital destinations and regions of origin in China and Europe? Are distribution centers being shifted eastward? What opportunities and/or threats for the Dutch ports present themselves? And in what way should the Dutch government anticipate on these developments?

The most important intercontinental rail corridors (source: RETRACK)

Next to modeling research and forecasting, in which the Panteia Terminal Hinterland Model will be used, opportunities and possible threats for the Netherlands will be charted. During in-depth interviews and interactive sessions, practical and market insights from stakeholders are collected. The study is kicked-off in November, whereas final policy advice will be delivered in March next year.

Extensive track record in rail freight transport
Panteia has profound knowledge in the field of railway transport, as well as a reputation as independent consultancy institute. We have a proven track record in rail corridor studies, such as the TEN-T corridor studies and RETRACK (rail land bridge study Europe-China). Also, Panteia carried out studies into market potential for rail freight transport Netherlands-Russia, Netherlands-Poland and Netherlands-Czech Republic. Recently we explored rail transport flows between China and the Dutch province of Gelderland. Next to our extensive network within the rail freight sector, Panteia maintains its joint-venture in China (Seatrack), through which we dispose of up-to-date information and have access to local stakeholders.

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