No need for new Hong Kong terminals

Plenty: BMT finds that existing capacity is sufficient through to 2030

Plenty: BMT finds that existing capacity is sufficient through to 2030. Credit: Kai Yan Wong

New findings from a ‘Study on the Strategic Development Plan for Hong Kong Port 2030’ by BMT Asia Pacific reveals new terminals in the region aren’t needed to keep the sector competitive.

The report highlights the positioning, competitiveness and future trends in the industry, “to which the current facilities must respond”. It also identifies trends of a shrinking share of South China cargo via Hong Kong Port (HKP). “As a result of competition from other South China ports, HKP’s market share for South China cargo has declined, but the rate of decline is diminishing,” the report reveals.

According to the report, growth of international transhipment at HKP is driven by growth in world trade, more common use of transhipment as the mode of operation in container shipping, and efforts by HKP terminal operators to attract international transhipment.

HKP is already competitive and has a captive market for foreign carriers looking to tranship China related cargo, but may also compete as an international transhipment hub over the wider Asia region.

According to the report, HKP will maintain a certain level of market share of the South China cargo base due to increasing labour costs and the possible RMB appreciation impacting other South China ports, and therefore enhancing cost competitiveness of the port.

The Government has studied the feasibility of constructing a further container terminal (CT10), to complement the existing KTCT terminals 1-9, but the report says existing infrastructure must be better used first.

“Only if measures to enhance capacity cannot accommodate forecast throughput, should consideration be given to construction of CT10. However, review of the demand and supply assessments indicates that CT10 will not be required before 2030.”

However, nearby capacity at Kwai Tsing Container Terminals will be needed prior to 2030.

 “This plan provides a viable and valuable development path for HKP, based on the strengths of the industry that will allow it to continue to play a key role in Hong Kong’s future advancement,” the report concludes.

A review of the Port Cargo Forecast will be carried out in five years to monitor the development of Hong Kong’s port sector and ensure timely provision of port facilities and port related infrastructure.

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