Title: Has the Belt and Road Initiative promoted railway logistics efficiency? - An application of three-stage DEA

Authors: Yaokun Zhang; Junyong Xiang

Addresses: Institutes of Science and Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China; School of Public Policy and Management, University of Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China ' Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organisation, Economic and Technology Research Institute, No. 8, Xuanwumennei Street, Xicheng District, Beijing, China

Abstract: The main goals of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) include policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure, and unimpeded trade. Almost six years have passed since the BRI was implemented, and there is an urgent need to evaluate logistics' efficiency of BRI countries and explore the changes. This study focused on 23 countries along the New Asia-Europe Continental Bridge (NAE) and the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor (CCW). Using three-stage data envelopment analysis and stochastic frontier analysis methods, we evaluated each country's railway logistics efficiencies, consisting of technical efficiency, pure technical efficiency, and scale efficiency, and then identified possible environmental factors. The results showed that BRI countries' logistics efficiencies are uneven and could be affected by digitalisation level, economic openness, and industrial structure. NAE countries benefited more from BRI than CCW countries. Although some countries' efficiencies remain less than satisfactory, BRI has effectively promoted logistics' efficiency on the whole, especially through enlarging the scale efficiency of the railway logistics.

Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative; BRI; railway logistics industry; logistics efficiency; three-stage DEA; data envelopment analysis; DEA; stochastic frontier analysis; SFA.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTL.2022.123713

International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2022 Vol.14 No.4, pp.348 - 370

Received: 26 May 2020
Accepted: 31 Jan 2021

Published online: 01 Jul 2022 *

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