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CHINA History of Transportation

Transportation in ancient China was poor; people traveled mainly on foot. It could take several months for a candidate, who wanted to take the imperial examination to be a government official, to travel from home to the capital.

Horses, Sedans, Carriages

People rode horses when traveling from town to town; for short-distances, man-carried sedans, carriages or oxcarts were used.

no form of wheeled vehicle existed in China prior to the introduction from Central Asia of the chariot around 1200 b.c. Stuart Piggott - "Shang chariotry appears to mark the first appearance of any wheeled transport in the area which was to become the nucleus of Imperial China."

And Edward Shaughnessy declares, "There is no evidence of any type in China to suggest a vehicular development leading up to the mature chariot."

Carts and Wheelborrows

Furthermore, Western scholars maintain that early Bronze Age China only possessed the borrowed technology of the chariot and never possessed or invented any other forms of conveyance or hauling such as carts or wheelbarrows.

One of the mainstays of transportation in the cities is the handcart. Many goods are transported around town by these good men who are private enterprise at its best.

Rickshaws became a popular hit during the 19th and early 20th century.
Rickshaw is a mode of humanpowered transport: a runner draws a two-wheeled cart which seats one or two persons. They were later replaced by cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws.

Motorized bicycles
Motorized bicycles, motorcycles and other motorized vehicles are growing in numbers in Asian countries. The vehicles come in many shapes, sizes and forms. You will see some of the strangest motorized vehicles in both the cities and the country-side. This is especially true in the larger cities as affluence grows. The motorized bicycle is quickly replacing the bicycle. You can see their growth in numbers with each visit.

Bicycles, the real traffic jams in major cities in China are caused by the number of bicycles.

Besides walking, the main source of transportation is the bicycle. Seldom new and often not pretty, they provide the basic means of transportation to the average person in China to work, shopping and leisure activities.

Rail Lines
Rail Lines is a popular and effective method of transportation in China. In 1996 there was over 56,700 kilometers of rail line.
Trains are a major means of transportation between cities in China, and connect virtually every part of the country. Trains are a key method of transportation between cities.

Subways and subway systems exist only in the major cities. They are insufficient for the population to take significant advantage. Inadequate subway systems is a major issue to the growth and health of these cities.

Shanghai is a good example, where traffic congestion, air pollution from factories and a growing number of motorized vehicles is already a problem

Waterways are and always have been an important way of moving goods through the country.
The Pearl river delta is a prime river system for the movement of goods and people. The system is filled with an boats, from barges to sampans to small fishing boats, to barges and hovercraft.

Product moving to and from Hong Kong will be found on boats for some portion of it's journey. Even today you will see a wide array of boats on the various river systems.

Sampans, long famous boats in China, are still seen in Hong Kong Harbor and on the waters around China. Barges of all types, laden with goods and materials as well as soil and rocks for many of China's development projects can be seen floating upon the waters.

automobiles have become the hottest method of transportation in China today. With a country of more than 1 billion people strong, we can only imagine the impact of automobiles in China will have on everyone in the world. Influencing the influx of car buying, Chinese people are getting wealthier each day and more disposable income to utilize. Automobile is a necessity in Chinese culture today.

From rickshaws to automobiles, transportation in China and other Asian countries have improved dramatically over the last few years.

IRAN History of Transportation

Iran has long been involved in the transportation issues. The unique geopolitical location of Iran functioned as a bridge connecting the Orient and the Occident and provided merchandisers and globetrotters with countless opportunities in the domains of economic and sociocultural interaction.

IRAN History of Transportation

The renowned Silk Road passed via Iranian territory from the beginning of its establishment in the latter half of the 2nd century B.C. up until the early days of the 20th century. And today as urban growth continues in Iran encompassing many of the secondary Cities, the stress on urban systems and on urban liability can be expected to grow markedly. Transportation is vital to the dynamism of a City and the well being of its citizens, without access to good passenger and freight transportation services, economic development stalls

IRAN History of Transportation

The famous royal road was built by Iranian engineers at the time of Darius, which ran from Shoush to Saard and the famous Silk Road was the most important road from the time of Ashkanid to when Vasco da Gama discovered the Cape of Good Hope. Also, it was the Median people who used horses and invented chariots.

Studies carried out by Roman Girshman (famous archeologist); show that there have been three major trade routes under Ashkanid kings:

Estakhr - Kerman
1. A road running from Estakhr to Kerman, Kermania and Sistan which continued on to India;

Persian Gulf - Lebanon

2. A road starting on the shores of the Persian Gulf, which reached Solukiyeh along the banks of Tigris River and continued to Dora, a trade hub in Syria, before reaching the coasts in Lebanon. From there, freighters carried goods to Greece. In this way, there was a continuous trade route from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea.

Solukiyeh Road
3. The Solukiyeh Road (Tisfun) which crossed Ekabatan and Damghan (Sad Darvazeh) before reaching Marv in Turkistan and moving on to China. It was later turned into a segment of the Silk Road.

Camels and Mules

Caravans of camels and mules carried animal hide, textile and wooden artifacts in addition to animals, birds, rice, saffron, spices, precious stones, tar and oil from Iran in return for metal objects, bronze objects, paper, glass, pottery, paints and steel which were carried from China and India to Iran.

In the first and second centuries before Christ a trade route started in China and continued to Marv, Sad Darvazeh (Damghan), Hamedan (Ekbatan) and finally to Solukiyeh. Chinese silk was taken to Iran, Syria and Egypt along the same route.

Iran Center of Trade

Therefore, Iran has been a center for trade among civilized nations of that time since many years ago due to its location as a major hub connecting Asia to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It was also a center of civilization and has gained precious experiences in world trade.

At the time of Alexander, however, trade routes crossing the Persian Gulf were compromised because they preferred Suez to Iran. The Romans then started to use the Iran route once more and after some years of stagnation, Irans foreign trade become prosperous.

After the Roman Empire declined, Europes trade with the Orient was damaged, but then some European nations (especially Italians) paid renewed attention to Iran including merchants from Genoa and Pisa.

At that time, Iran was not just a link between Europe and the East, but was also a party to trade with them. A high quantity of goods was sold to tradesmen and since Iranians were rich, they also bought a lot of things. In this way, Iranians followed by Romans and then Italians were major peoples who paid attention to international transportation, made roads for caravans, established border checkpoints and collected port duties.

Iranian routes declined in importance only after the Portuguese sailor, Vasco da Gama, discovered the Cape of Good Hope in 904 AH (1497 AD). Since that time, trade through Iran declined and was limited to articles which were in demand in Iran.

Silk, wool and precious stones were the first goods to be carried by caravans through Iran to Europe and most of them were carried by camels to seashores where they were taken to Europe aboard ships. In return, goods needed in Iran were bought. In early 20th century, oil discovery attracted a lot of attention to the Persian Gulf and Iran became a focal point for plots hatched by international conspirators.

Railroads and Shipping lines

They were well aware of the importance of communications and knew that without road and transportation means, they would not be able to expand their exports to Iran.

Therefore, tradesmen started to establish railroads and shipping lines, collecting hefty profits in the meantime while paving the way for export of goods to Iran and taking preliminary steps to create international transportation in the country.

100 years ago up to the Islamic Revolution

Structural changes in Iranian transportation system started about a century ago. A decree by Amir Kabir (chief minister under Nasereedin Shah, The Ghajar dynasty) in 1898 for the establishment of a navy was the beginning of new transportation in the country.

In 1906 and late in Qajar rule, a ministry of public utilities was in charge of all affairs related to agriculture, trade, industry and roads. Historical documents show that the general department of roads in that ministry has been the first official establishment for transportation in the history of Iran.

In 1922, a military air transport office was established and served as a forerunner to modern sea, road and air transportation.

In 1930, the roads and streets department was separated from the ministry of public utilities and was established as a new ministry.

1935 - 1936
In 1935, a general department of ports and the state-run railroads were established. In 1936, the ministry of roads and streets was renamed to the Ministry of Roads with a department called cargo transportation department.

Transportation after the Islamic Revolution

From 1978 to 1988: During the Iraqi imposed war (1980-88), road transportation was a means of implementing defense policies while, on the other side, serving as a means of implementing regional industrial and especially social policies.

a road transportation department was established with five transportation offices in charge of transportation planning and contracts as well as traffic standards and regulations for transportation.

From 1988 to 1994

Passing a law for the establishment of the Public Terminals for Cargo Vehicles Private Joint Stock Company in 1988 can be considered a turning point in road transportation arrangements. The law was passed to establish cargo terminals in order to give priority to building cargo terminals for trucks which supplied the warfronts with necessary articles. It was then generalized to other parts of the country and construction of cargo terminals began.