A forum for Construction of CR Express Massing Center in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province in Northwest China, was held on March 25 and the initiative to jointly build the Belt and Road (Xi’an) grand canal for land and sea transport was announced.

Sponsored by Xi’an municipal government, the forum attracted more than 300 representatives from coastal ports, border ports and cities along the Belt and Road Initiative covering regions, and large Chinese central enterprises, renowned logistics companies at home and abroad, railway companies and research institutes to discuss the possibility and necessity of constructing China Railway Express (CR Express) Massing Center in Xi’an.

Gao Gao, member of the standing committee of the Party’s Xi’an committee and Deputy Mayor of the city, said that more attention should be given to opening up and to the leading role of the Belt and Road, and the construction of internal and external channels and regional transportation hub should be sped up.

“Xi’an has a splendid culture and a history of over 3100 years for city construction and a history of over 1100 years as the capital. It is the initial city of the ancient Silk Road.

Xi’an will further strengthen its close cooperation with all regions, cities, ports along the Belt and Road Initiative covering regions and jointly make Xi’an an important engine to promote economic and trade cooperation and become the preferred city for Asia-Europe cooperation and exchanges,” the Deputy Mayor said.

Su Guofeng, Deputy Director of the Administrative Committee of Xi’an International Trade and Logistic Park, said that in 2008, Xi’an International Trade and Logistic Park started to be built with the historic mission of building China’s inland port (Xi’an Port).

As the only “inland port” with both international and domestic codes, it pioneered the “inland port mode” of “port inward migration, on-site billing, sea-rail intermodal transport, seamless docking”. It has integrated customs clearance with 10 customs along the Silk Road, built a comprehensive bonded zone in Xi’an, a railway container centre station and other pivotal platforms, and put into operation the ports of vehicles, grain and meat.

Deng Yanjie, Deputy Chief Engineer of the Water Sciences Institute under the Ministry of Transportation, said that at present, the Belt and Road Initiative has entered the integration stage of high-quality development. Xi’an is the perfect place for building the CR Express massing centre and constructing a large channel for land and sea intermodal transportation.

After serious discussion among the representatives, the forum reached the initiative to jointly build the land and Sea joint transportation channel for the Belt and Road Initiative covering regions, with Xi’an as the CR Express massing centre.