China’s rapidly growing economy is fed by one of the largest logistics and transport networks in the world. Its 18,000 km (almost 11,200 mi.) coastline has over 2,000 ports, 130 of which are open to international trade. China’s ports have handled more cargo than any other country in the world for the past five years, carrying over 100 million TEUs (twenty foot containers) annually. Its merchant fleet, consisting of nearly 1,800 independent and state-owned large-scale shipping vessels, has a total capacity of nearly 3 billion tonnes. China also has a vast air transport network. In 2005, China’s airlines carried over 22 million tonnes of cargo and 138 million passengers. The majority of transportation within the Chinese mainland occurs by rail. China’s 86,000 km (almost 53,500 mi. of rail line carries over 24 percent of the world’s total rail cargo. Logistics within the Chinese mainland is also aided by a 3.3 million km (approx. 2 million mi.) road network and 110,000 km (almost 70,000 mi.) of navigable waterways.
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