International Journal
on Marine Navigation
and Safety of Sea Transportation
Volume 2
Number 2
June 2008
New Development of Ships Routeing in
Chinese Navigable Waterways
Hui Ma, Zhaolin Wu & Zhengjiang Liu
Dalian Maritime University, Dalian, China
ABSTRACT: After entering 21 century Chinese waterborne transportation keep high speed development,
mmarine traffic order and marine traffic safety become more important issues. In order to enhance marine
traffic safety and efficiency, ships routeing systems were implemented in important navigable waters in recent
years. After implementation of these ships routeing systems, evaluations on the effects are carried and prove
that these ships routeing systems have got obvious effects both on safety and economic efficiency.
Ships Routeing is an effective measure to enhance
maritime traffic safety and to promote traffic
efficiency and to protect marine environment. Up to
now, more than two hundreds of ships routeings
systems have been developed by national maritime
safety administrations, some of them were adopted
by IMO. With high speed development of
international and national waterborne transportation
and other waterborne activities, serious lost of lives
and properties as well as serious damages to the
marine environment resulting from marine traffic
accidents caused more and more public attentions, in
resent years Chinese government have taken all
kinds of measures to solve such problems, including
establishment of ships routeing systems in important
Chinese navigable waterways to keep good order of
waterborne traffic and to improve maritime safety
and to prevent marine pollutions from ships. This
paper is aimed to give outlines of new developments
of ships routeing in China.
As a marine country, China has very good resources
for shipping. There are coastline navigable waters,
from the north to the south, including Baohai Sea,
Yellow Sea, Donghai Sea and Nanhai Sea, and
inland navigable waters, including Helongjiang
River, Changjiang River and the Zhujiang River. In
these Chinese navigable waters, there are five key
areas, in which, ships density is high, sea routes are
crossing, traffic is contested, and marine accidents
occur frequently. They are named as Baohai Straight
(Liaotieshang Channel), Chengshanjiao waters,
Changjiangkou waters, Zhujiangkou waters and
Qongzhou Straight.
The earliest ships routeing measure introduced on
basis of option in 1970s was recommending route
measure, named South-North Route, between
Changjiangkou waters and Baohai Sea, which was
established to separate optional traffic flow so as to
avoid collisions. South-North Route was on basis of
rich navigation experiences and good seamanship,
reference to traffic separate scheme implemented in
Dover Straight. The first ships routeing system
developed refer to IMO standard of ships routeing
was implemented in Dalian Harbour in 1984, which
consist of traffic separate scheme, precautionary area
and inshore traffic zones, to separate entering traffic
and leaving traffic, and to separate through traffic
and inshore traffic see Figure 1.
Fig. 1. The first ships routeing system in Dalian Harbour
Both ships routeing measure have got predicted
achievements on preventing collisions between
ships. Chengshanjiao waters is a very important
passage in Chinese coaster navigable waters, ships
entering and leaving ports and harbours located in
Baohai Sea and Yellow Sea must pass through this
waters. Chengshanjiao water is also important
fishing area, the ships density is very high in fishing
seasons. More fog days and strong windy days are
other negative factors effecting marine safety in
Chengshanjiao waters. In order to change the
situation of high frequency of marine accidents, the
first ships routeing measure in coaster waters was
developed in 1991, in accordance to IMO standard
of ships routeing, in Chengshanjiao waters. After
nine years successful implementation, it was
presented to IMO and adopted by IMO in 2000, see
Figure 2.
Fig. 2. Ships routeing in Chengshanjiao waters
After entering 21 century Chinese economy keep
high speed development, waterborne transportation
also keep high speed development at the same time.
In recent years construction of ports and fairways
very fast, the number of ships entering and leaving
increase in a large scale in these ports and nearby
waters. Keeping good traffic order and better traffic
safety become more important tasks for maritime
safety administrations to be carried out. Besides
other measures, ships routeing system is selected as
an effective measure of marine traffic management.
From 2002 to 2007, eight ships routeing systems
were developed and implemented in important
navigable waters as follows:
In September of 2002 Changjiangkou routeing
system was implemented, as shown in, see Figure 3.
Fig. 3. Changjiangkou routeing system
In July of 2003 Changjiang Jiangsu routeing
system was implemented, as shown in Figure 4.