Traffic transportation is an ancient productive and practice activity, while transport of large scale, originally and mainly in the form of watering transport, was started in modern times. Highway transport formed with the appearance of gas engine, followed by airline and pipeline transport. Hongnian Yang, a researcher of the comprehensive transporting research center of National Planning Committee, said “Transportation is an activity that people use transporting tools (such as railway, highway, automobiles, ships and airplanes etc.) to affect labor objectivities （goods & passengers）and change their geographic locations, in other words , the transfer of the locations of passengers.” In fact, modern transportation both meets the needs of passengers and that of the transfer of geographic locations, which concerns about the improvement of labor productive efficiency at the social level and capital cycling.
Modern transporting system is a three-dimensional comprehensive system which is composed of five transporting forms, they are, railway, high way, water carriage, airlines and pipelines, which interacted with each other and jointly compromised National Transporting System.
Transporting activity is a productive activity: transporting industry is a material production sector in terms of the nature of it. Transportation is an activity that people use transporting tools (such as railway, highway, automobiles, ships and airplanes etc.) to affect labor objectivities （goods & passengers）and change their geographic locations, in other words, the transfer of the locations of passengers. The functions of the modern transporting system can be summarized as: realizing regular mobility of people and materials, meeting the various transporting demands in social production and daily life, as well as pushing the formation and development of human behavior space and economic space.
Transporting industry is a base industry in national economy and has a significant effect over its development. Backwardness of the development of transporting must be improved if national economy will maintain a relatively high-speed growth. First Transportation has a close inner connection with the national economy. Secondary transportation is the basis of economic activities and plays an important role in economic development. The development of the third transportation affects the allocation and utilization of resources. The role of market mechanism in resource allocation should be fully played to optimize the allocation of resources and improve the economic efficiency and reach the development targets of national economy.
Modernized comprehensive transporting system (MCTS), with the target of meeting the demands of economic and social development of information society (knowledge-based economy), is restricted by the level of productive development, especially technology. MCTS, based on the high and new tech centered on info-tech, with the functions of seeking for the potentials of different forms of transportation and high efficiency and density, emphasized on the integration of different forms and spatial transfer of people and materials. MCTS is a indispensable base industry in civilized society and vitals of national economy and social development. The five functions of transporting industry follow as: economic, public welfare, social, macro-control and defense functions.
United States is the most advanced country of CTS in nowadays. US acted as a kingdom of railway in 1800s and automobiles in 1900s. With a complex transporting net of railway, highway, water carriage and airlines, all the ports in USA are connected with railways and play an overwhelming role in port communication. The different transporting forms greatly improved the efficiency and speed of delivering and comprehensive transportation, and combined the advantages of them.
Highly advanced CTS in US was properly consistent with economic development. Since 1980s, with the emergency of the problems in resources and environment, the focus has been changed into sustainable development. Urban development in regions arises strong leading and exploring effects. Urban economy pushes forward the regional development and improves the all-round development. There is a close inner relationship between Transporting system and economy. The best example goes to US, where TS is fundamental in production and exchange of commodities and a crucial factor in the development of human society.
The scientific orientation of experience management policy on the development of CTS in US occurred in 1980s. Before that, the policy of US government and Transportation Department on the transporting industry mainly played in the form of subsidiary or aids. The development of TS largely depended on the active role of governmental administrating mechanism. In US, the railways are always owned by individuals, the adjustment of transporting policy mainly focused on the alleviation of government interference on transporting market. Different sectors in Transporting industry suffer intense competition. In early stage of development, inner water carriage was dominant. After 1950s, with the construction of railways in large scale, inner water carriage lines gave way to the railways. In 1900s, the upsurge of highway system seriously shocked the development of railways, as no development without competition, the competition of different transporting forms made America’s transporting industry prosperous and advanced. The multi-form transporting capacity accounts for total capacity by 2% and total circling capacity by 8%, which demonstrates that it has a priority in long-distance transportation and has already merged into the economy.
US is the most developed and advanced country in world comprehensive transporting system. In the past 60 years, the successful experience in building modernized CTS in US sheds light on the construction of modernized CTS in China.
In 1980s，a theory of building comprehensive transporting channels was proposed in China, which included two significances, one went to the concept of big channels, that is mainly construct key transporting channels which are critical in national transporting, the other went to the concept of CT, that is building multi-form transporting channels including railways, highways airlines and pipelines according to the theory of CT. The construction of transporting channels helps to and finally deals with the restrictions in national economy and social development and the “bottlenecks”. The hypothesis of transporting with priority was partly and efficiently implemented.
In China, the CTS has made great achievements and also met many problems to be covered urgently. These issues concerns about the construction of MCTS in our country and the development of socialism modernization. Transportation can’t satisfy the needs of economic development, with a structural conflict among the various transporting forms and the backwardness in all-round function of transporting infrastructure and low utilization rate of resources, all of which affects the improvement of transporting consumption. Therefore, transporting industry acts as the bottleneck of development in most provinces and regions. Because of the poor availability and backward technology, the lag of info delivering holds up economic and social sustainable development. Some implications can be concluded from the national CTS both in US and China: it is a long-term and hard project to build a NCTS. We have to take measures step by step to reach the goal. Some countermeasures are given as: the reform of the system of investment and financing, continuous efforts toward the strategy of rejuvenating the country through science and technology to achieve the high-speed development in transporting industry.
The prosperity toward the development of CTS in China goes to: in order to adapt to the needs of socialism modernized construction, in the coming period, the scale of transporting should be expanded to improve the comprehensive transporting capacity in the development of transporting industry; optimize the structure including overall transporting structure and inner structure of single transporting form, insist on allocate transporting resources effectively and increase the overall quality of comprehensive transportation; continuously and reasonably plan and locate the transporting net, with emphasis on the development over linkage transportation, especially multi-form transportation in the form of containers; introduce new technology and improve the modernization level of CTS.
In the period of the eleventh five-year plan, China will continuously implement active policy of transporting development to meet the increasing demands, support the various forms to achieve the whole process and largely improve the supplying capacity of transportation to handle the structural conflict and narrow the development gap among different regions; increase the mobility and availability of transportation across the country and improve the CTS to push forward the goal of constructing relatively-rich society in all-round sense.
In the period of the eleventh five-year plan, great achievements and reform will be accomplished in transporting industry, with an increase of transporting capacity and largely alleviation of the restrictions of transportation on the economic growth; though accelerating the development of transportation and full play of CT, shifting negative role to positive one, providing pillars to the swift development of national economy and society.