This refers to the article, ‘More vision wasted’ (Jun 9), by Shahzad Chaudhry. According to the writer, “$ 50 billion [spent on the CPEC project] will get them [China] a direct route from the Arabian Sea to Kashgar, reducing distance and the cost of moving goods by half”. This is not true. Comparing distance by sea with distance by road is misleading. In transport economics, it is not distance that matters but it is the cost which is relevant.
The cost of transporting a container by road is around $1 to $1.50 per km. This transportation will cost much more in mountainous areas across Karakoram. It will cost at least $5000, excluding the cost of transportation in China, to move a container by road from Gwadar to Kashgar.