Impact of Land Bridge on Port Market Area: Model Development and Scenario Analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - route design, ridership - forecasting, ridership - forecasting, mode - rail


Water transportation, Trucking, Truck transportation, Travel time, Shanghai (China), Scenarios, Routes, Railroad transportation, Rail transportation, Projections, People's Republic of China, Myanmar, Motor truck transportation, Markets, Maritime transport, Marine transportation, Land bridge, Journey time, Intermodal transportation, Intermodal systems, Impact studies, Freight transportation, Forecasting, Dubayy (United Arab Emirates), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Costs, China, Burma


A land bridge as an intermodal freight transport mode seamlessly integrates long-haul rail and short-haul truck services to provide transcontinental delivery of containers that can be alternatively transported by maritime transport mode. To evaluate the impact of the Myanmar–China international land bridge on the Shanghai, China, port, this paper first proposes a novel concept of the probability-based port market area to measure the service area of a port by assuming that costs and times of the intermodal freight transport routes are the normal distributed random variables. The analytical expression of the probit-based market area of the Shanghai port is then derived for two competing transport routes to the Dubai port: one involves the Myanmar–China land bridge and the other uses the direct port-to-port maritime link. The probability-based market area curves in relation to transport cost and time of the Shanghai port are established for two operational scenarios of the Myanmar–China land bridge: (a) current state of operation and (b) a possible future state of operation with efficiency similar to that of the U.S. continental land bridge operation. Each of these curves possesses one branch of a hyperbola curve representing a contour of the impact level of the land bridge on the Shanghai port. Differences of the impact contours of the two scenarios provide an indication of the market area of the Shanghai port that will be affected by changes in the efficiency of the land bridge operation.