Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (5): 699-711.doi: 10.1007/s11442-021-1866-4

Previous Articles     Next Articles

The influence of China-Europe Railway Express on the production system of enterprises: A case study of TCL Poland Plant

LIU Hui1,2(), GU Weinan1,2, LIU Weidong1,2,*(), WANG Jiaoe1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2020-11-29 Accepted:2021-03-21 Online:2021-05-25 Published:2021-07-25
  • Contact: LIU Weidong;
  • About author:Liu Hui, Professor, specialized in regional sustainable development. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20010103)


The implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and the increasing frequency of the China-Europe Railway Express (CER Express) have brought new improvement to the production system of enterprises along the Belt and Road regions. On the basis of summarizing the evolution of production system of enterprises, this paper takes TCL Poland Plant as an example to conduct an in-depth study on the characteristics of the plant's current production system and its differences from the original production system, and analyzes the impact of the CER Express on its current production system. Some conclusions can be drawn as follows. (1) CER Express had a great impact on the production system of TCL Poland Plant, which is mainly manifested in the following aspects. First, the transport of raw materials by CER Express improves the time efficiency and shortens the whole supply chain. Second, CER Express acts as a “moving inventory”, which realizes the flexibility of raw material inventory and “zero inventory” effect based on the punctual transport. Third, the time and inventory effects brought by CER Express speed up the response to European market. The comprehensive benefits brought by CER Express lead to a more punctual and lean production system, meet the diversified needs of consumers on account of product quality and diversification, and improve ability to expand European market. (2) On the basis of abandoning the original “Rigid Mass Production” system, we argue that TCL Poland Plant formed a unique production system—“Global Fluid Just-in-Time” which absorbed the essence of Toyota Production System based on the punctual transnational transportation of CER Express. (3) The differences between the current and the original production systems of TCL Poland Plant are mainly focused on the following aspects: the difference of transport and storage mode of raw materials, and the changes of production line, production mode and quality inspection organization, etc.

Key words: production system, Global Fluid Just-in-Time, China-Europe Railway Express, TCL Poland Plant