The Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China

11/01/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/31/2019 17:30

Ministry to boost freight oversight to combat overloading, speeding

The Ministry of Transport plans to strengthen oversight for internet-based freight businesses to combat overloading, speeding and other risky practices commonly seen in the sector, an official said on Oct 31.

The move comes as an increasing number of consignors make their orders online.

While addressing an internet freight service forum in Beijing, Yu Xingyuan, an official with the ministry who oversees the freight and logistics sector, said the ministry will work with local authorities to establish a monitoring system targeting online freight services in an effort to regulate the emerging business.

'We'll make full use of internet-based methods to ensure the healthy development of the sector,' he said.

China has seen marked progress in its transportation infrastructure over the last 70 years, starting almost from scratch, according to Ma Yanjun, researcher at the Transport Planning and Research Institute under the Ministry of Transport.

'That has laid a solid foundation for the economic takeoff following the reform and opening-up in 1978,' he said.

But China's freight industry has long been noted for over-competition due to a low threshold for players to enter.

Cai Yuhe, a freight and logistics expert who once worked with the Ministry of Transport, said the extensive development mode has led to many problems such as speeding and overloading practices-which could enable drivers to offer services at more favorable prices-and caused serious accidents.

The most recent case involved a deadly overpass collapse in Jiangsu province which was believed to have been caused by a heavily overloaded truck carrying over 170 metric tons of steel coils-nearly 120 tons more than the permitted maximum. Two adults and a 5-year-old girl were killed in the collapse, and another two people were injured.

The Ministry of Transport has previously declared war on overloaded trucks.

In 2004 and 2011, the ministry, alongside a number of other departments, launched campaigns to fight overloading. In 2016, the ministry issued regulations saying the maximum weight of hauled goods should not exceed 50 tons.

Yu said a nationwide platform featuring geographical positioning, created in 2014, has been working over the last few years, sending alerts to truck drivers suspected of speeding, overloading or driving for long hours.

He added that they will keep using the platform to watch over misconduct, curb costs and offer drivers much-needed services.

Figures provided by the ministry show more than 6 million trucks have been registered on the platform and 620 million alerts have been sent out.