1) Why is SINO Shipping headquartered in Hong Kong?
1.1) Hong Kong is perfect to handle all shipments to and from China
Hong Kong is as a key hub for logistics and shipping globally, and is a primary international center for trade, financial services, logistics and shipping.
This assists companies with expanding their presence in Mainland China’s markets, while creating the platform needed to launch into the Asian market easily.
SINO Shipping can assist with cargo examination and clearance, and clearance documentation, and will help negotiate the Hong Kong’s Trade Declaration Fees and Process.
Hong Kong is a good location for holding inventory that has to be moved from or to Mainland China, as it has a hassle-free regulatory and tax environment.
SINO Shipping’s Hong Kong facilities is their Asian Regional Headquarters, and their position as a leading logistics company in Hong Kong has sustained exponential growth.
SINO Shipping assists companies with achieving lean supply chains that allows for efficient, quick and economical product movement.
SINO Shipping’s a professional team can assist customers to comply with Hong Kong’s export and import licensing régulations.
2) Shipping by Sea freight
*Contact us for the best quotes on sea freight. We do offer LCL, FCL and specialized sea freight. For more details, just check our sea-freight page.
2.1) FCL shipments
Full Container Loads (FCL) are used for larger cargos that are often loaded into either 33cbm (20ft) or 66cbm (40ft) containers by manufacturers. The container doors are typically sealed with a bolt seal by shippers once loading has been completed.
SINO Shipping’s experience with moving goods allows our export team to facilitate the whole process from end to end, and provide customers with a shipping experience that is without any hassles.
We are able to offer various containers (40HC and 20 and 40ft) for when full container loads are shipped. Our FCL container service is also available for reefer, dry, open top, flat rack, etc.
Numerous warehousing and storage facilities are also available upon request, as well as accurate tracking of shipments via an internet browser interface.
2.2) LCL shipments
SINO Shipping has 12 years’ experience of forwarding freight cargo by sea, rail, and truck to and from Hong Kong
Our full range of LCL services include:
- Goods consolidation in our warehouses.
- Global customs clearance services.
- Quality assurance, including cargo weighing, packaging, labeling and packaging control.
- Arranging LCL cargo shipping to and from Hong Kong, including multimodal service.
- Freight forwarding from Hong Kong to warehouses and customers including all documents required after customs clearance.
- Full control along the way.
- Paperwork required for cargo shipping.
- Taking responsibility for all subcontractors.
- Safety guarantee for cargo transportation.
- Cargo condition monitoring.
- Selecting the most cost efficient and effective transportation routes.
2.3) The SINO quotation tool shipments
The SINO Shipping quotation tool is a quick and easy method to get instant, all-inclusive shipping quotes, both for exporting and importing. Convert a quotation to a booking is simple and easy, and the platform is accessible 24 / 7 / 365.
All our quotations provide detail on:
- FOB (Freight On Board) elements
- Ocean freight charges
- Nationwide collection costs for exporting
- Applicable surcharges
- Customs clearance fees for importing
- Destination handling charges for importing
- Vessel details
- Booking and Rates details
- Transit times
- Door delivery for imports
SINO Advantages: Customers have the benefit of obtaining competitive quotes online. There are no hidden surcharges or late fees once the cargo has been shipped, as Bunker Adjustment Factors (BAF) and Currency Adjustment Factors (CAF) are included in the original quote. Fill our form in a minutes and get your FREE quote within 48H:
3) Brokerage and Customs clearance in Hong Kong
SINO Shipping offers the following Custom Broker services:
- Distribute imported cargo to China and Hong Kong including custom clearance services.
- Arrange Ex-work services from Hong Kong and Chinese origin, and coordinate with Hong Kong and Chinese Customs departments.
- Assist with on-forwarding consignments (transshipment cargo).
- Manage delivery at the destination.
3.1) Fiscal representation
For companies operating from Hong Kong but interested in exporting or importing by acting from another country, this can be done it with tax representatives.
*Tax representative could for example allow importing to or exporting from the country without registering a new company in that country.
4) Cargo insurance
Shipments are unfortunately not automatically insured for the full face value of the cargo unless separate Marine Insurance is arranged for each shipment.
SINO Tips : At SINO Shipping, we highly recommend that cargo be protected against any damage during handling or transit. This is the reason we offer our customers Marine Insurance.
5) Cooperative arrangements
The Department has signed Customs cooperative agreements that, although they are not binding, will make bilateral Customs cooperation against offences across boundaries stronger. Since 1991, 18 Customs Administrations have entered into these agreements.
These include Belgium, Australia, France, Canada, Israel, India, Japan, Italy, Mexico, Korea, New Zealand, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Thailand, Ukraine, the United States of America, the UK and the People’s Republic of China.
You want further details about your future shipment? Check our Country guide just here:
In 1999, the Government of HKSAR has also concluded binding Customs Cooperation Agreements with the EU (European Union) to improve cooperation between Customs Administrations of EU member states and the Department.
Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise Department belongs to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the World Customs Organization (WCO).
5.1) Examination of Cargo
The Hong Kong CandED (Customs and Excise Department) uses risk management by examining selected cargo to make sure that Customs interventions at control points are kept to a minimum.
Various electronic cargo clearance systems are used to enable shippers to submit advance cargo information to expedite cargo clearances. These systems used for sea, land and air are listed below:
- Sea – the Electronic System for Cargo Manifests (EMAN) permits carriers to submit manifests for containerized cargo transported by oceangoing vessels electronically, before the shipments arrive.
- Land – the ROCARS (Road Cargo System) allows registered shippers (or their agents) to submit information in advance electronically, for cargo exported or imported by truck through LBCPs (land boundary control points), to the CandED.
- Air– the Air Cargo Clearance System (ACCS) allows the CandED to provide fast Custom clearance services to legitimate trade without compromising the HKSAR’s security.
5.2) Clearance Documentation
The documents listed below are needed to enable clearance at Hong Kong Customs:
- Import or Export license
- Other supporting documentation (Airway Bill, Bill of Lading, Packing list, Invoice, etc.)
- Copy of detention notice (if applicable)
5.3) Cargo examination and clearance
The HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) is a free port that does not levy any Customs tariffs on exports or imports. There are also no surcharges or tariff quotas, or general services and value added taxes. Only 4 types of dutiable commodities attract excise duties, namely tobacco, liquors, methyl alcohol and hydrocarbon oil.
All cargoes exported from or imported into HKSAR via land, se, or air are subject to controls at Customs. This is mainly done thorough document (manifest) inspection. If required, physical examinations of goods are conducted selectively.
5.4) Trade declaration fees and process
Effective from August 2012, goods that are exported or imported attracting a charge per export or import declaration will be decreased to the following:
Goods whether of HKSAR origin or not:
- USD 0.2 for the first USD 46,000 of the cargo’s value.
- USD 0.125 for each additional USD 1,000 or portion thereof, rounded up to the closest 10c.
Import – Food items
- USD 0.2 per declaration, regardless of the cargo’s value.
Import – Non-food items
- USD 0.2 for the first USD 46,000 of cargo’s value.
- USD 0.125 for each additional USD 1,000 or portion thereof, rounded up to the closest 10c.
6) SINO Shipping’s Hong Kong air cargo department
6.1) Booking air freight
Booking air freight services to Hong Kong is hassle-free and easy. Start by requesting a free online quote without any obligation. Simply enter the dimensions and weight of the goods to be shipped to compare all the rates that are on offer.
Once you’re ready to make a booking, our friendly support staff will take you through the applicable steps. This will enable you to choose the ideal method of air freight, either Consolidated or Back to Back, and the airport you prefer to depart from.
SINO Tips : If you are not able to drop your shipment off at one of our many receiving centers, we could collect it for you through our optional collection service.
6.2) Book air freight from and to Hong Kong
The global business hub of Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. SINO Shipping offers a range of air freight services to mainland China and Hong Kong.
7) Scope of services – airfreight
7.1) E-commerce Shipping Centers and Order Fulfillment
Apart from offering traditional logistic, SINO Shipping also focuses on e-commerce. We have more than ten years’ history supplying e-commerce logistic solutions in Hong Kong, China and all other main countries with our discounts on freight packages. Using this option will definitely save your costs.
Although E-commerce shipping is not traditionally a major freight shipping method, we are proud that we have played an integral part in the e-commerce industry in Hong Kong for years.
We are however currently expanding our freight shipping services’ reach across other international borders.
Although International fulfillment by shipping cargo was difficult earlier, SINO Shipping has earned a stellar reputation in this market and we are happy that we have decided to go this route.
*If you are interested in e-commerce logistic solutions, be sure to try our services.
7.2) Charter Services
Apart from our scheduled freighter services, SINO Shipping is able to offer reliable, flexible, and tailor-made charter freighter services beyond our networks.
Our professional team will provide you with a customized air cargo solution based on your requirement at competitive pricing.
7.3) Forwarding Services
We offer forwarding Services by truck or air in mainland China. Our goal is to always deliver your cargo on time.
SINO Shipping aims to extend this service to destinations where there are no direct flights. This will enable wide coverage of cargo services to the following regions:
- Hong Kong, China
- South-east China
- Mainland China
7.4) Express and PRIO
Our express and PRIO services are top priority and guaranteed services that can be used for urgent general cargo. It includes agreed upon late acceptance as well as early delivery of a shipment to permit maximum flexibility in order to fit in with your requirements.
7.5) Live Animals
We are experienced in handling and care for live animals. Our service for transporting live animals complies with the applicable acceptance regulations and our handling procedures are according to IATA standards and adhere to local authorities’ requirements to ensure the safety and health of live animals during transport.
8) Warehouse services in Hong Kong
As a major logistics center in Southern China, Hong Kong’s warehouse deals with freight within Hong Kong and from and to Southern China.
The warehouse uses state of the art security and temperature control systems to deliver full distribution services for numerous types of cargo, including luxurious consumer goods, healthcare items and electronic components.
8.1) Inventory control
SINO Shipping utilizes our warehouse management system to control your inventory by receiving and sending orders from and to your suppliers, and managing goods by item units. This decreases logistics costs by controlling inventory with the correct quantities, and choosing the best possible method for transport.
8.2) Added value services
We will assist you in managing the supply chain by fulfilling warehousing functions as per your request. Examples of these services included cargo tagging and sorting, kitting multiple cargos, repacking, assembling, inspection, labeling, etc.
8.3) Special cargo
SINO Shipping does not only handle general cargo, but also deals with frozen items, refrigerated goods, dangerous goods, and many other items.
*Please contact us for any requirements regarding distribution in the Southern China area.
8.4) Strategic logistics to Asia, China and globally
Take advantage of our Hong Kong warehouse as your company’s logistics hub. The setting is one of the largest container terminals globally, and serves as a bridge to connect to the world’s biggest production area in Southern China.
8.5) Distribution services
In addition to packing of dangerous items and regular goods, and container devanning and vanning, we provide the following services:
- Cross border truck delivery to China
- Domestic delivery in Hong Kong
- Buyer’s consolidation
9) SINO Shipping is a Authorized Economic Operator (AEO)
Companies that are accredited as an Authorized Economic Operator under the Program are recognized as trusted partners of the Department to mutually secure global supply chains. The companies receive appropriate incentives which include prioritized or reduced Customs inspections.
With the AEO program established, the Department explores opportunities to develop mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) with various Customs administrations in other countries.
MRAs will also enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s AEOs, with diverse benefits allowed by countries overseas. All of this is evidence of Hong Kong’s commitment to safeguarding their global supply chains and help reinforce its status as the major regional logistics hub and international trading center.
9.2) Air Shipping Dangerous Goods from Hong Kong
SINO Shipping accepts Dangerous Goods for shipping to and from the destinations listed below:
- Ho Chi Minh City
- HKG – BKK
- TPE V.V.
The requirements of the IATA DGR (Dangerous Goods Regulations) is listed below:
- RH-01 – No dangerous goods will be accepted as cargo.
- RH-02 – No radioactive materials (Class 7), will be accepted as cargo.
- RH-03 – Not currently used
- RH-04 – No dangerous goods will be accepted as cargo in airmail.
- RH-05 – No dangerous goods in consolidations will be accepted as cargo, except for:
- Consolidations with a single air waybill.
- A consolidation containing solid (Dry) Ice or carbon dioxide used as a refrigerant;
- RH-06 – UN3090 Metal Lithium batteries. Metal Lithium batteries are not acceptable as cargo as per Packing Instruction 968, Sections IA, IB and II.
- RH-07 – UN3480 Ion Lithium batteries, including lithium polymer. Lithium polymer or lithium ion cells and batteries won’t be accepted as cargo as per Packing Instruction 968, Sections IA, IB and II.
- Lithium Metal Battery Regulation (PI.969 and PI.970)
- Lithium Ion Battery Regulation (PI.966 and PI.967)
9.3) Lithium Batteries
The shipment must be shown on the Air Waybill. The package may not contain defective or damaged batteries.
- All package should be handled with care as a flammability hazard exists if the package is damaged.
- If a package is damaged, special procedures should be adhered to. This includes inspecting and repacking if required.
- Contact SINO Shipping Headquarters before accepting Lithium Batteries for shipping.
- An additional contact telephone number must be displayed on the Lithium metal / ion battery label.
- Test report as per the following regulations should be attached:
- The requirement of Test and Criteria, Part 3, subsection 38.3 of the UN Manual is met by the test.
- Batteries and Cells conform to a design specification tested as per the requirements of the latest revised edition.
- Identification and Classification for Transporting Products by Air
- This report proves that it is safe to transport by air.
- Valid for One Year.
- Testing results should be confirmed by the number issued by the Certification Body.
- SDS / PSDS / MSDS
- This report contains information that provides procedures for safe handling.
10) Overview of Hong Kong’s Airport and Port
- In 2017, 72.9 million passengers were handled
- Connected to more than 220 destinations worldwide by about 120 airlines
- More than 73,000 staff members
- In 2017, 5.05 million tons of cargo and air mail was moved
- 1,255 hectares site area
- 420,630 air traffic movements
- 2 Operational runways
- Hong Kong’s deep-water port is modern and well-equipped, and serves two maritime transport types: river-trade vessels from the Pearl River and ocean-going vessels from all parts of the world. The port moved 20.8 million TEUs in 2017. On average, around 73 ocean and 435 river vessels visit the port daily.
- Hong Kong is a free port, with ship ownership and management being major activities. The Government of Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region’s trade policy pursues an open, free, and multilateral trading system. In 1990, Hong Kong’s Shipping Register was established. In 2017, the gross tonnage of ships registered was more than 114 million, ranking this Register as 4th in the World.
- Hong Kong’s port facilities includes 6 cargo working areas with a berth length totaling 4 852 meters, 7 700 meters of frontage with deep water at Kwai Tsing Container Terminals, and 16 mooring buoys for ocean-going vessels. The SkyPier under the Airport Authority and the 3 Ferry Terminals under the Marine Department provides cross-border ferry services to River and Macao Trade ports. Port dues are among the lowest in the world.
- There is no port authority in Hong Kong and the Government’s Marine Department is responsible for the daily running of the port.
Why use SINO Shipping?
SINO Shipping was founded by xxx, who has been active in International Freight Forwarding for more than 30 years.
We have excellent relationships with Air/Ocean/Land carriers, enabling us to design optimum routes based on your requirements. This results in your cargo being delivered economically and efficiently.
SINO Shipping has 8 offices in Greater China and worldwide network.
Logistics solution provider
As an integrated global logistics solution provider, we offer 3 services categories to our customers: Air Freight, Sea Freight and Warehousing.
Our extensive agent network represents us in in 31 countries and handles both outbound and inbound traffic. We select our agents carefully to ensure that a consistent, high level of service is provided to our customers globally.
First class services
We provide customized solutions and personalized customer service with integrity and innovation in order to satisfy the logistical needs of our customers.
As we have a team of experienced staff, SINO Shipping is able to provide valuable opinions and consultation for freight routing and budgeting.
Advanced computer systems
Our advanced computer systems are used to track shipments and establish reliable communication with all concerned parties. We are therefore able to report on the movement of shipments in any part of the world.
Asia logistic alliance
We have formed partnership with various reputable forwarders based in Asian countries. This allows us to strengthen our competitiveness on servicing and pricing, and build our reputation in this industry globally.
SINO Shipping is possessing desks in Hong Kong to ensure its presence on a major economic pole, where all the trade activities of the region are gathered.
Hong Kong – The financial capital of Asia
Part2: Export goods from Hong Kong
More than 75% of the Hong Kongese exportations are sent to other Asian markets.
Eastern Europe only represent 12% of the exportations
Its strategic position at the south of continental China is making the state city a crossroads between China and the South East Asian countries.
The freight forwarder market is tremendous here in Hong Kong, however we advise you to treat with us. We’re going to explain why in the following lines.
Industry development and market perspectives
Several tendencies are affecting the freight forwarding market on a global scale. We can mention the supply chain globalization, the mass personalisation, the shortening of the product cycles, the efforts to reduce stocks or to delete them and the speed of communication. To face these phenomenon, more enterprises are contracting subcontractors or independent experts to optimize their supply chain. Enterprises specialised in 3rd and 4th party logistic (3PL and 4PL) are more and more present because of their cutting-edge services to manage the supply chain.
3PL is referring to an externalized subcontractor, who manage the totality or a significant part of the logistic needs of an enterprise. They are doing transport, location activities and are also consolidating products. 4PL is referring to an externalised supplier who integrates completely the supply chain of its client. He is managing resources, capacities and technology of all parties, 3PL included, to deliver a global supply chain solution thanks to his expertise.
1/ Customs and rules
1.1 Non-tariff barriers
Even if the reassignment of Hong Kong to China happened more than 20 years ago, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR) kept its customs regulation. In fact, Hong Kong still has its Free-trade port status, and remain a separated custom territory from China. It allows Hong Kong to maintain its function in the international organism, and its numerous international commercial agreements.
Import licenses are necessary to import this following products:
- Chemical products: as determined in the Control Laws of Chemical Products. The licenses must be claimed at the “ Environmental Protection Department” For further information, visit the official page: Chemical Products HK
- Pharmaceutical products: licenses must be claimed at the “Drug Registration and Import/Export Control Division of the Department of Health”
- Living animals: If it’s for trade purposes, it will be very difficult for you to import living animals to Hong Kong. You must ask a license to the “Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department”.
- Vegetables: principles remain the same, you need a license delivered by the Vegetable and Pesticides Division from the “Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department”.
- Textiles: Import licenses are not necessary since 2014. Further information on the “ Trade and Industry Department “ website.
- Food (rice, frozen meat and fish) : The meat products, fresh or frozen requires an Import License delivered by the “ the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department “. Sanitary certificate from the country of origin must be delivered with the import licenses.
- Radio equipment: They must undergo the control of the “Office of the Telecommunication Authority” in order to provide you an Import License.
- Licenses for importing vehicles, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and oil products are claimed at the “Customs and Excise Department »
1.2 Customs taxes and tariffs
With its Free-trade port status, Hong Kong doesn’t claim customs duties for general goods that are entering its territory. Only a few types of goods are submitted to taxes:
- For tobacco: The tax is calculated based on the total volume
- Alcoholic beverage which contains more than 30% of alcohol: the tax is equivalent to 100% of the CIF value.
- Wine: Since 2009, the tax is equivalent to 60% of the CIF value.
- Beer: 30% of the CIF value.
- Oil products: to calculate the tax, you must consider its financial value, but also its volume.
- New vehicles: 35 to 100% of the total value.
For the customs classification, we remind you that Hong Kong is using the Harmonized System (HS). More than 200 countries are using it, to elaborate custom tariffs and calculate international trade statistics. Click here to learn more about it: HS code in HK
1.3 Different importation procedures
Since the moment a cargo arrives to the port, and before that the importer takes possession of it, products are directly inspected, and eventually sampled by customs. Once that customs give the green lights, importer receives a release letter. You must know that the importer should present an “import declaration” to the “Customs and Excise Department” less than 14 days after the importation.
Several documents are required to ease the custom clearance:
- A manifesto
- An import/export license or a withdrawal permit, if asked.
- A photocopy of the detention notice (where appropriate)
- Few documents like the Bill of Lading, the Air freight letter, the pro forma invoice and the packing list.
SINO Note: For importing samples, a special mark should be attended on the product to specify it’s a sample and it cannot be sold. Then, they can move along freely on all the national territory.
2/ Port of Hong Kong
Hong Kong was a British colony for 155 years (since 1842) and was reassigned to China in 1997. Nonetheless, she remains very different from China. Nowadays, it’s the richest city in the country, with 9% of its inhabitants that are millionaires. She also became essentially a tertiary economic centre. The local money is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD).
Hong Kong possess 7 million of inhabitants. It’s the eighth largest global trading power and the third world financial centre after New York and London. Since 1995, its economy is considered as the most liberal in the world.
The economic activity of the city enables its port to be ranked number five in the world, in terms of container traffic and cargo tonnage. To begin, it was an average commercial port, but textiles took an increasingly influential place since 1950. After 1970, intense economical activities in the region carried a development of the services sector, that supplant industrial activity nowadays.
Hong Kong’s economy is strongly influenced by global trades. The Import and Export value is higher than the GDP and 47% of its exchange are realised with the Popular Republic of China. The city has a pivotal role between Taiwan and Continental China, because of its autonomy and the good relations maintained with both parties.
We can also observe a true financial concurrence with Singapore and Shanghai. Tax system is indeed eased in the region: for enterprises that have activities outside of Hong Kong, the corporation tax is zero. For businesses that have activities inside Hong Kong, the tax is 16,5%.
2.1 The port effectiveness
Hong Kong port is a true model of competitivity. It’s one of the most important and efficient port worldwide. He possesses the largest container capacity in the world.
Its strategical position in deep waters, ease the vessel transit and explains the intense maritime activity of the region. Nowadays, there’s only a few industries in Hong Kong and most of its activity depends on the tertiary sector. The port has a key role for Hong Kong, because 35% of the containers routed to the port comes from Continental China.
Nowadays, approximately 7000 containers are passing through the port everyday. It only takes less than 10 hours to unload and to load a vessel. The biggest vessels have a 10,000-container capacity. There are approximately a thousand of barges which are transporting containers from the ships that stay off, to the port.
The maritime transport sector is vital to support Hong Kong’s status of the seventh largest global trade place. In 2016, Hong Kong treated 257 million of metric tons of maritime freight. About 65% of the goods transported by Ocean freight were handled by deep water vessels. Amongst them, 93,4 millions of metric tons (57%) were transhipments goods. Continental China was both the principal source and destination of the transhipment goods of Hong Kong.
In 2017, Hong Kong treated 20,8 millions of containers TEU, which is a slight 5% increase compared to 2016. Amongst it, 78% were treated by container terminals of Kwai Tsing. The rest were handled by Hong Kong’s mooring buoys. The moorings are also handling most of the bulk cargo of Hong Kong. Bulk cargos are handling unconditioned and high-volume goods like oil, gas, cereals, minerals and woods.
2.2 Line Shipping
Ocean Freight from/to Hong Kong is both transported by vessels and bulk cargos. Regular transportation is done on an established schedule with pre-announced rates and destinations. Most of the key paths are covered by maritime conferences (Agreements concluded by the major shipping companies on tariffs and crossings). Hong Kong is an important turntable with approximately 340 vessel services per weeks, that serves 470 destinations worldwide.
Big cargo lines invested in advanced systems to provide precise tracking information on the cargo and to enhance efficiency. They often ally or merge with other transport suppliers in order to develop door-to-door multimodal services. Numerous carriers are also allying to grow efficiency and to reduce costs in a very competitive environment. Vessels sharing allowed ships to offer a better world coverage and a higher frequency of the schedule departure.
2.3 Port facilities
Hong Kong’s port amenities are financed, built, owned and ran by private enterprises.
2.4 Container terminals
Hong Kong owns 9 container terminals with 24 berths in Kwai Chung and Tsing Yi Island. They are all operated by private consortiums. Due to various quality improvement measures, their combined production capacity is 20 million TEU per year on average.
In December 2014, Hong Kong’s government published the conclusions of the strategic development plan study for Hong Kong Port 2030 (HKP2030). They published also the feasibility study of the 10th container terminal (CT10) in Southwest Tsing Yi. Although the first conclusions of the report showed that the development of CT10 is technically feasible, the project is not financially viable because of the slow increasing of the Chinese production. In addition, with appropriate measures to increase the treatment capacity of the existing terminals to face future growth, CT10 is not needed before 2030.
To answer the development needs of the port and logistic industries, Hong Kong’s government implemented several improvement measures. Among them, the adding of separating terminals and further barges will enhance the handling capacity of the terminals of Kwai Tsing. In order to deepen Kwai Tsing’s dock and its fairway of 2,5 meters, colossal dredging works had been achieved in 2016. It allows ultra-large container ships to access container terminals during all tides.
2.5 Trade terminals on the river
The Pearl River connects Hong Kong to numerous manufacturing poles of the south of China. The Pearl River Delta (PRD) is constituting the main freight base of the territory. The trade on the river progressed incredibly fast during the last two decades, passing from 9,3 millions of tons in 1990 to 92,6 millions of tons in 2016. To face the rise of the river trade, a competent terminal, the River Trade Terminal (RTT), was built in 1996 and was operational in November 1998. RTT is located on the west of Tuen Mun.
2.6 The services suppliers
The shipowners are earning revenues from the vessel ownership, without being necessarily the proprietor of the vessels. On the line Ocean freight business, shipowners are renting vessels to shipping companies. Shipowners are providing a crew, supplies, and necessary equipment to run the ship. On the bulk ocean freight business, vessels are rent based on time or journey to a ship proprietor or a shipowner.
In both cases, bulk or line, shippers are linking shipowners to customers. They are booking space in the ships, to transport client’s goods.
According to the Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA), in December 2016, the total tonnage of all the type of vessels she owns exceeded 178 million deadweight tons (dwt).
In May 2017, 2540 vessels figured on the Hong Kong Shipping Register (HKSR), totalling more than 110 million of raw tons. It put the HKSAR at the fourth largest shipping records place, after Panama, Liberia and Marshall Islands.
Shipping companies are owning or renting vessels, in order to deploy them on preestablished roadlines. Vessels managers rent vessels to the owners and use them to move goods from port-to-port. Operators goal is to reduce the number of useless shipments, which requires a meticulous selection of the vessels, the roadlines and the freight.
Shipping companies are using maritime agents to sell their services in specific ports. The maritime broker is matching the bulk vessel offer with the demand of bulk charging from the shippers.
According to the last statistics available, Hong Kong provided 115,3 billion HKD of maritime freight services in 2015 (14,3% of the total of the service exportations worldwide in 2015). This shows an unneglectable 12,3% decrease compared to 2014. Contrary to the Air freight, results coming from the passenger’s transport represents a neglectable part of the total turnover coming from the maritime business.
More and more countries are privatising their port operation and/or developing new ports to exploit for trade purpose. Port operators of Hong Kong are developing and managing private ports on the Chinese continent and all the region. A Hong Kongese terminal operator, Modern Terminals Limited, invests and exploits several terminal containers in Shenzhen, and is spreading its activities to Yangtze River Delta (YRD) since 2004. Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Group, another Hong Kongese terminal operator, owns an operation network of 48 ports in 25 countries, treating more than 75 millions of TEU worldwide, every year.
3/ Recent developments and market perspectives
Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board (HKMPB) was created in 2016 to strengthen the collaboration between the government, the industry and all parties involved. HKMPB is leading the long-term development of the ports and the maritime services that are associated.
Continental China’s ports have developed themselves incredibly fast these previous years. 37,1 million of TEU have been transferred to Shanghai. At the same time Shenzhen became the third busiest port in the world with a 24 million TEU flow, closely followed by Ningbo-Zhoushan (who took over Hong Kong since 2015).
According to the logistic performance index (LPI) created by the World Bank, Hong Kong obtained a score of 4,07 on 5. Hong Kong is ranked #9 on the World ranking and #2 on the Asian ranking below Singapore. Concerning international shipments, Hong Kong ranked at the second place on 160 countries ranking.
To increase air quality in coastal zones, Hong Kong government and Guangdong’s Maritime Security Board are working together to implement a control zone of the emissions in the Pearl River Delta (PRD). Ships that are doing the DECA are required to use low-sulphur fuel, with a limitation of 0,5%. At the end of 2016, both parties signed a cooperation agreement and formed a working group to implement the DECA plan.
To strengthen Hong Kong’s water security, the government published the Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2013, obligating all the ships that have a raw gauge superior to 3000 to have a pilot when they are crossing Hong Kong’s waters. Apart from this, the law project proposed to allow pilots to keep the same permit class until the age of 68, instead of 65. It will allow them to benefit of their experience to drive mega-vessels.
The cruise terminal Kai Tak entered in function in June 2013. This model of terminal is simply unique. The roof is designed to receive visit from tourists and locals. There is many shops and gardens for people to stroll. Also, it supplies boarding and unboarding services for cruise passengers. The capacity of the custom clearing, immigration and quarantine terminal can treat 3000 passengers per hour.
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HKZMB), a massive scale cross-border infrastructure which links the three cities, will be open to traffic on July 2018. The freight traffic between Hong Kong and the occidental PRD will be enhanced.
3.1 The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)
CEPA allows to Hong Kong Services Suppliers (HKSS) a larger flexibility and preferential conditions to access the market. In many sectors, HKSS is authorized to constitute exclusive ownership units to deliver precise Sea Freight services like:
- International ship management
- Containers station and filing
- Free-ship common transport
- Port goods loading and unloading
- Inspection for vessels registered in Hong Kong
- Purchase and sale, trade of components and rent of international maritime containers
- Vessels maintenance and repair
- Regular trade services like shipment enterprises, B/L issuance, for trailers that operates between Hong Kong and the continental ports.
For all Hong Kong based corporation supplying ocean freight services, more than 50% of the vessels she is owning, must be registered in Hong Kong. This is determined in terms of tons of goods supplied by each vessel.
June 28th, 2017, two more CESP agreements were signed by governments of Hong Kong and China. The Agreement of Investment (AI) and the Agreement of Economic and Technical Cooperation (EcoTech). The AI gives more clarity and stability concerning promotion and protection of the investments between the two places. It gives more certainty on the assets acquired by Hong Kong’s enterprises, whether they are in HKSS or investors capacities.
3.2 A port at the cutting edge of technology
The control room is the key point of the port of Hong Kong. Today, space is a major issue in the freight activity and Hong Kong port isn’t set apart.
Thanks to its software, Hong Kong port can know everything about each container: its origin, destination, weight, the moment when it should be loaded and unloaded, on which ship etc. This modern software allows managing containers in real time in order to reach a better productivity. This battle for productivity is making Hong Kong the third Asian port, and one of the most active port in the world.
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