The Transport Systems and Logistics Laboratory developed a Logistics Masterplan for the Wuhan Logistics Cluster (WLC), commissioned by China’s National Development and Reform Commission on behalf of the Wuhan Province. The TSL team was led by Dr Panagiotis Angeloudis, who was joined in the study by Dr Simon Hu, Dr Konstantinos Zavitsas and Dr Khalid Bichou.
Wuhan constitutes an important gateway to Hubei and the surrounding region, with a vast hinterland that is well-connected to major national and international inland and shipping gateways. Recent infrastructure developments and policy initiatives have significantly enhanced the role of Wuhan as a vital intermodal node in national and international supply chains.
On the one hand, the launch of the One-Belt One-Road (OBOR) initiative in which a critical economic corridor directly connects Wuhan to European railroad networks presents significant opportunities for the WLC to serve as gateway towards Central and Western Europe.
A comparative analysis of successful logistics clusters around the world explored Wuhan’s potential to evolve from a regional hinterland port that supplies major ports in SE Asia, to a major international hub with a significant role for OBOR trade. To realise this ambition, the TSL team recommended that the local government should seek to:
- Strengthen core strengths given competitive and industry challenges,
- Facilitate opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between existing and future cluster participants and;
- Develop an integrated maritime and logistics growth strategy that will attract more enterprises to the region.
The study included a regional trade flow analysis that was strongly supportive of that the Cluster could as an intermodal terminal and its further integration with the overland rail freight link established through the OBOR initiative and local airport capacity.