Kontakt Flappe öffnen
Megacity and major economic hub on the Yangtze

Nanjing – Home of the world’s largest (inland) port

Nanjing is the capital of the Jiangsu province and a dynamic metropolis in Eastern China. Situated in the Yangtze River Delta region, Nanjing has a prominent place in Chinese history and is an important transport hub with more than 9.4 million inhabitants. One of China’s ancient capitals, its history goes back to the third century B.C., it has developed into a modern, thriving economic center. Today, Nanjing holds the title for the world’s biggest inland port, second biggest railway station and has a bridge, which is somewhat important for China’s national identity…

Nanjing is an important place in Chinese history and culture, having served as a capital of various Chinese dynasties, kingdoms and republican governments. It has been one of the nation's most important cities for over a thousand years and is recognized as one of the “Four Great Ancient Capitals” of China. Thus the city has long been a major center of culture, education, politics and economy, earning the city the status of one (of only fifteen) sub-provincial cities in China's administrative structure. This means, that Nanjing enjoys jurisdictional and economic autonomy only slightly less than that of a province.

Location is everything

The city first became a Chinese national capital under a different name as early as the Jin dynasty. The name Nanjing, which means "southern capital", was officially designated for the city during the Ming dynasty, about six hundred years later.
Situated in the heartland of the drainage area of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, right at the beginning of the enormous river delta, Nanjing profits from its advantageous geographic location. No wonder the city’s developed so favorable and turned into a very important transport hub in Eastern China and the downstream Yangtze River area.

Coal mines without coal

In the 1950s after the People’s Republic of China was established, the government invested heavily in the city to build a series of state-owned heavy industries, as part of the national plan of rapid industrialization. Nanjing was chosen to be converted into a heavy industry production center in East China. Overenthusiastic in building a “world-class” industrial city, the government also made many disastrous mistakes, such as spending hundreds of millions of yuan to mine for non-existent coal.

Today the current economy is widespread: electronics, automotive and petrochemical industry, production of iron and steel, financial services, etc. have become pillar industries and source for prosperity. In addition, the city has also attracted foreign investment, multinational firms such as Siemens, Ericsson, Volkswagen, Iveco and Sharp have established their production lines in Nanjing. Other companies like Ford, IBM, Lucent, Samsung and SAP established research centers alongside Chinese players like Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo.

Rail is King

As stated earlier, Nanjing is an important logistical gateway for eastern China and the downstream Yangtze River area. Particularly four bridges and two tunnels crossing the Yangtze River are important links to the rest of China.

The city serves as rail junction for the Beijing-Shanghai (Jinghu), Nanjing–Tongling Railway (Ningtong), Nanjing–Qidong (Ningqi), and the Nanjing-Xi'an (Ningxi) which encompasses the Hefei–Nanjing Railway. Nanjing is connected to the important national high-speed railway network in the Beijing–Shanghai and Shanghai–Wuhan–Chengdu directions. Several more high-speed rail lines are currently under construction.

The main stations are “Nanjing Railway Station” belonging to China's top ten railway hubs. “Nanjing South Railway Station” is Asia's largest high-speed railway station in a country that anyhow boasts with unbelievable record-breaking buildings and projects. If it comes to the total floor area, it is considered the second largest worldwide. 
“Nanjing East Railway Station” is the largest marshalling station in East China and ranks countrywide as 15th. 14 further stations serve in a rather minor, regional role.

Home to one of the greatest seafarers of all time

Nanjing is also an important (and historic) shipping center in China, situated in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, just before the start of the Yangtze Delta. Nanjing Port has a long history reaching back to ancient kingdoms and dynasties, when it became a major seaport. In the Yuan Dynasty, Nanjing was one of the shipping ports for the transportation of grain from the south to the north. In the Ming Dynasty, Nanjing Port became the base and departure port for Zheng He's voyages. The legendary explorer and Admiral commanded a huge fleet by the standards of this time and sailed several times across the region, visiting East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, India, Indonesia, etc.

World’s largest (inland) port

The modern day port is an important multimodal hub with rail access, and the only one at the Yangtze River Delta. The completion of a 12.5-meter deep-water channel project below the Yangtze River made it possible to be the furthest inland international deep-water seaport. Because of this, the port is a very capable river-to-sea transshipment point.

But the rail access is also crucial, as it secures connection to all the important railway connections across China, and furthermore the access to the New Silk Road. In 2021, the port achieved a cargo throughput of 107.57 million tons of cargo and a container volume of 3.1 million TEUs.

A symbol of pride

In the 1960s, the first Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge was completed, and served as the only bridge crossing over the Lower Yangtze at that time. The bridge was a source of pride and an important symbol of modern China, having been built and designed by the Chinese themselves following the reliance on and then rejection of Soviet expertise. Begun in 1960 and opened to traffic in 1968 without foreign assistance. The bridge is a two-tiered road and rail design spanning 4.6 km on the upper deck, with approximately 1.5 km spanning the river itself. Since then four more bridges and two tunnels have been built.

It will remain exciting to see how this historic metropolis will continue to develop.

New cargo-partner office in Nanjing

As a major logistics gateway in eastern China, Nanjing boasts a thriving business environment and first-class government services. Our new office in Nanjing is one of several cargo-partner offices in the Yangtze River Delta region, where our partners are strategically located and can provide comprehensive solutions to enhance connectivity and capacity for our customers.

Our cargo-partner team in Nanjing offers a comprehensive range of air freight, sea freight, contract logistics and distribution as well as value added services.