GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (9): 2254-2272.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020180598

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The spatial evolution and its influence factors of ports’ coal transportation in Yangtze River Basin

CHEN Peiran1,2,3,WANG Chengjin1,2()   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2018-06-10 Revised:2019-08-13 Online:2019-09-20 Published:2019-09-11
  • Contact: Chengjin WANG


The Yangtze River Basin is one of relatively complete economic regions. Coal transportation based on the Yangtze River has been an important power to support basin’s social and economic development. The analysis of Yangtze River Basin ports’ coal transport function is of great significance for revealing Yangtze River ports’ function in economic development of basin. Based on this, this paper mapped the coal transportation pattern and evolutionary process of Yangtze River Basin ports since the 1980s, focused on the analysis of the spatial pattern of Ports’ coal loading/unloading, summed up the main features, measured the spatial distribution level and summarized development law. With the aid of location quotient and loading/unloading coefficient, this paper analysed the evolution process of the spatial differentiation of ports’ coal transportation function along the the Yangtze River, and then discussed spatial relationship between different coal transportation functions. Based on the spatial features of ports’ coal transportation in different periods, this paper condensed the spatial models of Yangtze River Basin ports’ coal transportation, and drew a comprehensive conclusion of driving factors for ports’ coal transportation pattern evolution. Thus, this paper can provide guidance for Yangtze River Basin ports’ development and function optimization. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) Yangtze River Basin ports’ coal transportation has been developing rapidly since the 1980s, the spatial distribution level showed a feature of first decline, then stabilize, and finally rise slightly. Coal throughput was centralized in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River continuously. (2) From the aspect of the spatial pattern of ports’ coal loading/unloading, coal unloading ports show an obvious ‘westward moving’ trend with unloading scale shrinking constantly, while coal loading ports concentrated in the Yangtze River Delta with loading scale expanding constantly, the coal unloading-loading functional connection have emerged between coal loading ports since 2000, coal unloading ports and loading ports realized spatial separation, the long-term ‘Pukou wharf-Yuxikou wharf-Hankou wharf-Zhicheng port’ coal unloading spatial pattern had been changed. (3) The Yangtze River Basin formed four ports’ coal transportation spatial models including functional interlaced low-level equilibrium pattern, functional slightly separated punctiform concentration pattern, functional highly separated sectional concentration pattern, and functional merged cluster pattern. (4) The main driving factors for Yangtze River Basin ports’ coal transportation pattern evolution include the spatial pattern for coal supply and demand, the price change for coal and its transportation modes, construction of coal transportation corridor, coal ports clustering development, infrastructure construction for coal storage and transportation.

Key words: port, coal transportation, Yangtze River Basin, spatial pattern, evolution