In the “Several Opinions on Accelerating the Development of Modern Logistics in China” jointly issued by the State Economic and Trade Commission and other six ministries and commissions, it is pointed out that modern logistics is mainly supported by network information technology, and it applies advanced management technology and organizational methods to closely connect the previously separated business flow, logistics, information flow and procurement, transportation, storage, agency, distribution and other links, forming a complete chain that cannot be broken. The modern logistics industry is a comprehensive service industry, which is closely connected with other industries and can promote the development of related industries. The development of the logistics industry covers almost all areas and sectors of the primary, secondary, and tertiary industries, and has good prospects for both breadth and depth (Hui, 2014). With the development of economic globalization, in order to improve the competitiveness of enterprises and increase their international influence, multinational companies are looking for raw material origin and consumer markets around the world to reduce costs and increase profits. In this process, the logistics industry plays an important role. It is an emerging industry with great development potential.
Guizhou Province is located in the western inland region. The terrain is closed, the infrastructure is not perfect, and the development of the logistics industry is slow and relatively backward. This has affected the improvement of Guizhou Province’s economic development level and the optimization of the industrial structure to a certain extent and also restricts the further expansion, promotion and radiation development of the logistics industry. Although there are many challenges in the development of the logistics industry in Guizhou Province, the Guizhou provincial government attaches great importance to this and has issued a series of policies and measures to promote the development of the logistics industry, creating a good policy environment for the further development of the logistics industry in Guizhou. The Outline of the 13th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of Guizhou Province adopted on January 31, 2016 clearly states that it is necessary to accelerate the development of modern logistics industry, build a modern logistics service system, and build Guizhou into an important logistics hub in the southwest. The Implementation Plan for Promoting the Coordinated Development of Electronic Business and Express Logistics in Guizhou Province issued by the General Office of the Provincial Government in 2018 said that by 2020, a comprehensive e-commerce and express logistics service system covering the whole province, with a reasonable layout, convenient, efficient, safe and orderly will be basically established. In addition, the establishment of the Guiyang Comprehensive Free Trade Zone, the improvement of the transportation system and the development of big data have created favorable conditions for the development of the logistics industry in Guizhou Province.
2. Literature Review
In 1922, the famous marketing scholar Fred Clark formally established the status of logistics in the Principles of Marketing. Since then, many experts and scholars at home and abroad have conducted various researches on the logistics industry. Robert Tamura (1996) first proposed that in view of the acceleration of regional economic integration, it is necessary to implement a unified logistics plan within the economic area to meet the needs of the rapid development of the entire regional economy. Donald J. Bowersox (2000) discussed the relationship between economic globalization, regional economic integration and the development of global supply chains and regional logistics. Goh M and Ang A (2000) reviewed and summarized the achievements of India’s economic and social development in recent years, and analyzed the internal drivers of economic development. After research, they found that the development of modern logistics industry plays a crucial role in the take-off of Indian economy. Gandlur B & Satyanarayana K (2002) proposed the impact and role of public logistics networks on the operational efficiency of regional logistics systems, and advocated the construction of public logistics networks as the infrastructure of regional logistics systems. Massimo Florio and Sara Colautti (2005) point out that the increase in government investment in the logistics industry is consistent with the increase in public expenditure.
Wu Jigui and Ye Azhong (2015) proposed that the growth of logistics scale can promote the economic growth, but the economic development may not bring the expansion of logistics scale, and the relationship between the two is not completely two-way interaction. China’s logistics industry input has a promoting effect on the improvement of national economic efficiency, but the degree of influence varies at different stages. Yang Pengbo (2015) believes that economic growth has enriched people’s consumption and service demand, formed a diversified form of economic consumption, and increased logistics demand. The logistics industry and economic development are mutually reinforcing and interdependent relationships that promote each other’s development. Liao Hai (2004) systematically analyzed the bottlenecks in the development of China’s logistics industry, combined with foreign theories and domestic realities, studied and discussed how to formulate logistics industry policies. Ge Xijun (2014) pointed out that logistics location is coupled with urban industrial space and transportation axis, and considered that points, lines and circles are the three major elements of the spatial structure of urban logistics location. Wang Pengcheng, Zong Huiming, Li Ming, Li Ling (2014) believe that the logistics industry mainly affects the urban spatial structure from two perspectives of economy and government, and its spatial layout promotes the expansion of urban space and changes the structure and function of urban land.
Foreign research on logistics is earlier than domestic, domestic research started late and was developed on the basis of foreign advanced experience. Foreign research on the logistics industry is more focused on building models and conducting quantitative analysis. But domestic research focuses more on qualitative analysis. Domestic experts and scholars have few researches on regional logistics, but they are more common in foreign countries. All in all, the domestic research on the logistics industry is not comprehensive enough, and there is still much room for development.
3. Status Quo of Logistics Development in Guizhou Province
The logistics industry is the result of the integration of various industries such as transportation, warehousing, and communications to ensure the supply of social production and social life. Based on this, this article will describe the current situation of the development of the logistics industry in Guizhou Province from the state of traffic, logistics information platform, freight transportation and freight turnover, express delivery business, delivery postal enterprise operating conditions, and logistics park conditions.
3.1. Status of Logistics Infrastructure in Guizhou Province
3.1.1. The Traffic Condition
1) The highway traffic conditions
The Guizhou Provincial Government has continuously strengthened the construction of highway transportation in recent years to improve highway traffic conditions, operation capacity and service level. The data in Table 1 shows that by the end of 2018, the mileage of highway in Guizhou Province has reached 196,908 kilometers, an increase of 1.3% over the previous year. Class highway mileage reached 156,559 kilometers, an increase of 5.2% over the last year; The highway Length was 6453 kilometers, an increase of 10.6% over the last year, and 1.6 times that in 2014. From the above data, it can be seen that the provincial government of Guizhou has achieved certain results in highway construction, which is conducive to promoting the improvement of the transportation network in Guizhou, thereby creating good conditions for the development of logistics industry in Guizhou.
According to the data of China Statistical Yearbook, in 2018, the length of highways of neighboring provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan was 331,592 kilometers and 252,929 kilometers, far higher than Guizhou Province. The Expressway in Guizhou Province only accounts for 3.2% of the Length of Highways in Guizhou Province. It can be seen that there is still much room for development in the construction of highway routes in Guizhou Province, and the construction of the highway network in Guizhou Province should be further strengthened.
2) The railway traffic conditions
It can be seen from Table 2 that the length of railways in operation in Guizhou Province has shown an increasing trend as a whole. By the end of 2018, it has reached 3560 kilometers, an increase of 8.4% over the last year.
Table 1. Highway traffic situation in Guizhou province.
a. Source: Guizhou Statistical Yearbook 2019.
Table 2. Railway traffic situation in Guizhou province.
b. Source: Guizhou Statistical Yearbook 2019.
3) The civil aviation transportation conditions
According to the data in Table 3, in the past five years, the number of civil airports, navigable cities, and transport flights in Guizhou have shown an increasing trend. The transport flights reached 242,893 in 2018, an increase of 6.5% over the previous year. The volume of freight handled in civil aviation reached 118,800 tons in 2018, an increase of 10.3% over the last year. The development of civil aviation has shown a good trend as a whole.
4) The waterway traffic conditions
Although the length of navigable inland waterways in Guizhou Province has increased in the past five years, it has not changed much. From 2014 to 2015, the length of navigable inland waterways in Guizhou Province was 3661 kilometers; from 2016 to 2017, it was 3664 kilometers. In 2018, it was 3745 kilometers, an increase of 2.2% over 2017.
3.1.2. The Logistics Information Platform Condition
1) There is a good communication information network foundation in Guizhou Province
Guizhou Province has a good communication and information network foundation. The number of mobile telephone subscribers, broad band subscribers port of internet, popularization rate of telephone and business of volume telecommunications in Guizhou Province have shown an increasing trend year by year. The data in Table 4 shows that the telephone penetration rate reached 125.4% by 2018. The broad band subscribers port of internet was 15.751 million, an increase of 22.7% over the last year. These have provided a good foundation for the development of logistics industry information technology.
2) Guizhou Province has established a series of network platforms that facilitate information exchange in the logistics industry
Guizhou Province has established websites such as Guizhou Logistics Information Network, Guizhou Logistics Cloud, and Guizhou Industry Association, which will help logistics enterprises and consumers to grasp the industry dynamics of logistics companies, understand government logistics policies and improve the operational efficiency of logistics enterprises. Some of the larger logistics companies also have their own websites to allow consumers to better understand the company. However, many small and micro logistics companies have not established corporate websites due to lack of funds and insufficient technology, and most of the online platforms that have been built are still lacking in data and incomplete information. Therefore, there is still room for further development of the logistics network platform.
Table 3. Civil aviation transportation conditions in Guizhou province.
c. Source: Guizhou Statistical Yearbook 2019.
Table 4. Some indicators of network construction in Guizhou province.
d. Source: Guizhou Statistical Yearbook 2019.
3.2. The Freight Traffic and Ton-Kilometers
3.2.1. Freight Transportation Condition in Guizhou Province
Freight traffic is an important factor in logistics demand. According to the data in Table 5, it can be seen that the volume of freight transportation in Guizhou Province has shown an increasing trend in general; the volume of railway transportation has shown a declining trend in the mass.Road transport volume has the largest contribution to the total cargo transport volume. Road freight volume continued to increase from 2014 to 2018. Water transport volume has increased year after year, but its contribution to freight traffic is the smallest of the three modes of transport.
3.2.2. Freight Ton-Kilometers Condition in Guizhou Province
Cargo turnover is the product of the actual transported goods and the average distance of the goods, and is an important indicator of the development of the logistics industry. As can be seen from Table 6, the cargo turnover of Guizhou Province showed a growing trend from 2014 to 2018, reaching 179.77 billion ton kilometers in 2018, an increase of 8.54% compared with 2017. The volume of highway cargo turnover is increasing, and it is one of the transportation methods
Table 5. Freight transportation condition in Guizhou province.
e. Source: Guizhou Statistical Yearbook 2019.
Table 6. Freight ton-kilometers condition in Guizhou province.
f. Source: Guizhou Statistical Yearbook 2019.
that contributes the most to the amount of cargo turnover. In 2018, the volume of highway cargo turnover reached 114.65 billion ton kilometers. The turnover of waterborne cargo accounted for the smallest proportion and the growth was relatively slow. In 2018, the turnover of waterborne cargo was only 4.51 billion ton kilometers.
3.3. Business Volume of Express Service
It can be seen from Table 7 that the number of express delivery in Guizhou has grown rapidly. In 2018, the number of express delivery was 211.93 million, an increase of 34.3% over the previous year and 4.5 times that in 2014; At the same time, the express delivery business revenue has also increased significantly. In 2018, the express delivery business revenue was 4.05 billion yuan, an increase of 29.8% over the last year and 4.1 times that of 2014. From a structural point of view, the national express service is the main, followed by local express service, and the number of international, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan express delivery is the least. In 2018, local express service accounted for 32.3% of total express delivery; the national express service accounted for 67.6%; international and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan express delivery accounted for 0.07%.
3.4. Transport, Storage and Post Enterprise Operations
Transport, storage, and post services are important components of the logistics industry, and their development directly reflects the development of the logistics industry. It can be seen from Table 8 that the number of transport, storage and post enterprise corporate units has been increasing in the past five years, and the growth rate is relatively fast. The number of transport, storage and post enterprise
Table 7. Business volume of express service in Guizhou province.
g. Source: Guizhou Statistical Yearbook 2019.
Table 8. Number of transport, storage and post enterprise corporate units.
h. Source: Guizhou Statistical Yearbook 2019.
corporate units in 2018 was 8605, which was 2.6 times that in 2014. Although the number of logistics companies has grown rapidly, there are also some problems in the development process. Taking Huaxi District of Guiyang City as an example, there are currently 18 small and micro logistics enterprises in Huaxi District. According to the investigation of the Huaxi District Commerce Bureau, the current logistics enterprises in Huaxi District are too small, the degree of logistics specialization and socialization are low, the overall strength is weak, and the scale advantage has not yet formed. The logistics infrastructure is backward, the level of information is low, the cost of logistics is high, and the management is extensive. the logistics management talents that are suitable for the development of modern logistics industry are scarce.
3.5. Status of Logistics Park
At present, Guizhou Province has successively built a series of logistics parks such as the Guiyang Comprehensive Bonded Zone Modern Logistics Park, Guizhou Express Logistics Park, Guizhou Mantang Red Modern Logistics Park, Tongren Modern Commercial Logistics Park and other logistics parks. The 13th five-year plan of Guizhou province clearly points out that it is necessary to “choose to build a logistics park or a logistics center in the place where a variety of transportation modes meet and speed up the establishment of a number of comprehensive and professional logistics parks, such as Guiyang airport logistics park, comprehensive logistics port, and Guizhou (Zazuo) trade logistics port”. Various cities and prefectures actively responded to the call of the provincial government, Wanshan District invested 3.5 billion yuan to build Wanshan e-commerce eco-city. In the third quarter of 2016, Guizhou invested 15 billion yuan to build the largest informationized, modernized and specialized logistics park in Guizhou-Qianbei modern logistics park. At the same time, the construction of grain trade logistics park, Chinese medicinal materials logistics park and agricultural products logistics park also reflects that the logistics park in Guizhou province is developing towards a professional direction. The establishment of a large number of logistics parks has created favorable conditions for the development of logistics industry in Guizhou province. However, the continuous rise in land prices and the lack of a complete overall planning within the logistics park also pose challenges for the development of the logistics park in Guizhou Province.
4. Problems Existing in the Development of Logistics in Guizhou Province
In recent years, although the logistics industry in Guizhou has achieved certain development, its level of modernization is still low. The backward economic development level, imperfect infrastructure construction, the small scale of logistics enterprises, the low degree of specialization, the low efficiency of the logistics industry, and the lack of talents have hindered the development of the logistics industry in Guizhou Province to some extent.
1) Guizhou’s economic development level is relatively backward
Economic development can create a good economic and market environment for the development of the logistics industry and promote the development of the logistics industry. Guizhou Province is located in the western inland region. Its economic development started late and its development speed was relatively slow, which was lower than the national average. According to data from China Statistical Yearbook, the GDP of Guizhou Province in 2018 was 1480.645 billion yuan, which was far lower than the GDP of neighboring Yunnan, Sichuan, Chongqing and Hunan. Therefore, Guizhou’s economy still has much room for development.
2) Insufficient logistics infrastructure
With the improvement of the economic development level of Guizhou Province and the policy support of the Guizhou Provincial Government, the infrastructure of the logistics industry in Guizhou Province has been improved to some extent. But in general, there are still some problems with the infrastructure of the logistics industry in Guizhou Province. For example, disorderly road sites and lack of unified planning; a complete highway network system has not been formed; warehousing facilities are outdated, utilization rates are low, supporting logistics equipment and storage capacity do not match, warehouses are mainly flat warehouses, three-dimensional warehouses and frozen warehouses area is small. Freight cars, forklifts and other types of cars are old and small tonnage. The daily loading and unloading and palletizing operations are mainly carried by human shoulders, and the degree of mechanization is not high (Wu, Yang & Wang, 2011). Although a large number of logistics parks have been established, their specialization and informatization are not high and have not formed a certain system.
3) High logistics costs and low efficiency
The development of most logistics industries in Guizhou Province has not realized the integration of the logistics process, which has increased the intermediate links and even caused repetitive operations, resulting in waste of resources, thereby making the logistics slow and inefficient. The logistics warehouses of enterprises are not fully utilized. The utilization rate of most warehouses is less than 50%, and the storage rate is not high due to the lack of scientific management. The shortage of warehouse management has a direct impact on the storage of goods, resulting in the decline of goods quality, which makes it difficult to reduce logistics costs. Guizhou Province’s transportation is mainly based on highway transportation. The mode of transportation is single and multi-modal transportation has not been achieved, which has reduced the efficiency of logistics transportation
4) Logistics enterprises are small, less competitive, lack of co-ordination of the leading third-party logistics company
Although there are many logistics enterprises in Guizhou Province, most of them are small in scale and the size of the company is basically less than 100 people. There is no scale advantage, the competitiveness is not strong, and the backbone logistics enterprises are lacking. There are few third-party logistics companies, and their level of operation and management is low, which is difficult to form a scale effect. Most of the logistics enterprises in Guizhou Province provide simple storage and transportation services. However, higher-level services such as logistics information services, distribution processing, inventory management, logistics cost control, logistics solution design and whole-process logistics service logistics services have not yet been launched.
5) Low technical level in the logistics industry
Logistics enterprises in Guizhou province focus on warehousing and transportation, and they have not realized the role of modern information technology in the development of logistics industry. Intelligent technology and automation technology have not been applied in the logistics process, nor have professional and intelligent logistics facilities and equipment been used, and the level of mechanization is low. Modern information technology has not been widely used in the development of the logistics industry in Guizhou Province.
6) Lack of logistics talent hinders the development of logistics industry in Guizhou
The lack of logistics talents has hindered the development of logistics industry in Guizhou Province to a certain extent. On the one hand, major universities and research institutions do not pay enough attention to the training of logistics talents, which makes the training of logistics talents slower, and the overall quality of logistics professionals is not high; On the other hand, logistics companies lack a corresponding training mechanism, and the training and selection of logistics talents are too lax, which affects the talent reserve of the entire industry and inhibits the development of logistics industry in Guizhou Province. At the same time, most people’s understanding of the logistics industry is more traditional and singular, and lacks modern logistics awareness.
5. Countermeasures for the Development of Logistics in Guizhou Province
1) Vigorously develop the economy and promote the optimization and upgrading of the industrial structure
From the analysis above, we can see that GDP plays a vital role in the development of the logistics industry. The increase in GDP can reflect the improvement of residents’ living standards, the increase in the number of social consumer goods, and the increase in investment in fixed assets. This will drive social consumption, increase logistics demand, and promote the development of the logistics industry. In the meantime, promoting the optimization and upgrading of the industrial structure will inevitably promote the majorization of the value chain, which will affect the consumption structure and also have a certain impact on the development of the logistics industry.
2) Strengthening infrastructure construction in the logistics industry
The transportation industry plays a huge role in promoting the development of the logistics industry. Therefore, we should combine the characteristics of the province’s economic flow, industrial agglomeration, and transportation layout to strengthen the supporting infrastructure construction of logistics to form a comprehensive transportation network with a reasonable layout, complete facilities, efficient configuration, and line-point integration (Jiao & Li, 2014). Making full use of the geographical location of the southwestern hinterland of Guizhou Province, rely on the important nodes of roads, railways, aviation, and waterways to build a water, land, and air transportation pattern, realize multimodal transportation, and improve transportation efficiency. Consummating the construction of storage facilities, eliminating obsolete and non-compliant facilities, introducing advanced equipment, and improving the efficiency of storage management; while maintaining the level of flat storage development, use more three-dimensional storage and freezing storage to improve the efficiency of storage use, promoting the construction of logistics parks, overall planning, coordinated management and integrating all aspects of logistics to achieve logistics integration.
3) Strengthening supply chain construction and increase warehouse utilization
The logistics enterprise should regard the logistics system as a complete interlocking “chain” from the beginning of procurement through production, distribution, and the process of reaching the user. Logistics enterprises should not only focus on the two aspects of warehousing and transportation, but should consider the entire logistics process as a whole, make logistics transportation, storage, loading and unloading, handling, packaging, circulation processing, distribution, information processing as one of the complex industry unified management, so as to avoid the phenomenon of duplication. Enterprises in the supply chain should strengthen cooperation, information sharing, and coordinated development. They must make full use of warehouses and fully play their role as warehouses. In particular, they must make good use of freezer warehouses and flat warehouses to reduce corporate costs and improve professionalism.
4) Achieving large-scale operation of enterprises and improving professionalism
Aiming at the fact that most logistics enterprises in Guizhou are small in scale and difficult to achieve large-scale operations, enterprise resources should be integrated, and measures such as encouraging alliances and mergers between enterprises should be adopted to expand the scale of enterprises, increase their competitiveness, and achieve large-scale operations. The government should cultivate large-scale logistics enterprises with local characteristics; reasonably control and manage small logistics enterprises; encourage the development of third-party logistics to make the development of logistics more professional and scientific.
5) Strengthening the use of modern information technology in logistics
On the one hand, the government can guide enterprises, help logistics enterprises to realize the great influence of modern information technology on the logistics industry, and at the same time, give certain tax incentives and other policy support to enterprises that use a large number of modern information technologies. On the other hand, the enterprise itself should also focus on the long-term, recognize the importance of modern information technology, adopt advanced logistics machinery and equipment, introduce advanced logistics technology, and use it in logistics activities to achieve the development of smart logistics and green logistics.
6) Speeding up the training and introduction of logistics talents
The training and introduction of logistics talents is of great significance to the development of logistics industry in Guizhou Province. Major universities and research institutions should set up relevant logistics courses and train professional logistics talents. The government can formulate a series of preferential policies for talents, create a good employment environment and conditions, and attract logistics talents from other regions to engage in logistics work in Guizhou Province. Enterprises should set up a comprehensive training system and attach importance to the re-education and ongoing training of employees.
This paper starts from the development of logistics infrastructure in Guizhou province, the current status of express delivery business, the current status of warehouse delivery and postal enterprises, and the current status of logistics park construction. The study found that the development of the logistics industry in Guizhou is dominated by extensive management, and intensive logistics operations have not been achieved.
Logistics enterprises focus on warehousing and transportation, and do not pay enough attention to other logistics links to form a complete supply chain. Logistics infrastructure is not perfect, logistics personnel is insufficient and logistics technology level is low. Based on this, we learn from the advanced logistics experience of developed countries and regions, and believe that we should strengthen the construction of logistics infrastructure and supply chain, realize the large-scale operation of enterprises, strengthen the use of modern information technology in the development of logistics industry, and speed up the training and introduction of logistics talents in order to promote better development of the logistics industry in Guizhou Province.
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