IN the first six months of this year, both freight and passenger transportation in China dropped, according to the latest figures released by the State Statistics Bureau. According to a China Daily report, freight transport volume in the period went down by 0.5 per cent over the corresponding 1992 period, standing at 1.34 billion tonnes. Of the total, rail freight edged up 0.7 per cent to 766 million tonnes, while truck freight fell 7.6 per cent to 278 million tonnes. Freight by boat climbed by 3.3 per cent to 310 million tonnes, while air freight soared 19.7 per cent to 291,000 tonnes. Freight turnover - an important indicator in monitoring unit labour productivity and economic efficiency - slid 0.6 per cent to 1.22 trillion tonne-kilometres. Of the total, railways reported a 1.5 per cent rise to 580 billion tonne-kilometres, while truck freight turnover fell 15.7 per cent to 15.28 billion tonne-kilometres. Air freight turnover generated 738 million tonne-kilometres, up 26.4 per cent, but boat freight turnover dropped by 2.1 per cent to 629 billion tonne-kilometres. Statistics on passenger volume and turnover for the January-June period also looked grim. Total passenger volume stood at 2.5 billion, down 10.3 per cent. A breakdown shows 514 million people travelled by rail, up 5.1 per cent, while 1.9 billion travelled by bus, down 14 per cent. Some 90 million people travelled by boat, down 4.8 per cent, while 14.07 million people travelled by air, up 22.8 per cent. The passenger turnover in the first six months reported a 2.1 per cent growth to 279.6 billion person-kilometres. Of the total, passenger turnover by rail went by 11.4 per cent to 171.5 billion person-kilometres, while bus travel turnover dived by 10.8 per cent to 98.9 billion person-kilometres. Boat travel turnover gained two per cent to 9.02 billion person-kilometres with air travel chalking up 26.4 per cent to 20.2 billion person-kilometres. In June alone, China's railways transported 133 million tonnes of freight and 79 million passengers.