Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl) has continued to outperform the Hong Kong market with 16.6 per cent tonnage growth in the first half of 2017.
The only independent cargo handler in Hong Kong handled 860,242 tonnes with growth from exports, imports, transhipments and mail/express.
Hactl has outperformed the market in every month since September 2016, and other noteworthy achievements include handling an additional 100 charter flights between January and May, bringing the total to 602.
The results have been attributed to factors including a modal shift from sea to air, overflow from Mainland Chinese airports, and the growth of e-commerce.
Hactl chief executive, Mark Whitehead says: “Deliberate reductions in ocean capacity, continued slow-steaming and port congestion due to mounting use of mega vessels are all playing a part in the shift from ocean to air. The volumes involved will be of little concern to the ocean business, but are a significant bonus to the airfreight industry.”
E-commerce remains a major driver of imports and exports to and from China via Hong Kong, with Hactl’s value-added logistics arm, Hacis continuing to pursue opportunities to benefit clients, such as working with postal authorities to provide viable alternatives for outbound mail from China containing e-commerce items.
Whitehead explains: “We are now handling 1000 mail bags every day, and that is providing welcome extra revenue for our airline customers.”
The rise in e-commerce has helped the growth in charters while fuel costs have given older freighters a reprieve, and Hactl has set up a dedicated charter team to facilitate freighter operations.
Hactl expects the growth trend to continue for the rest of 2017, but at a slower place, and Whitehead comments that forwarders and airlines are planning and booking ahead for the final quarter, having been caught out in 2016 by high spot rates.
Whitehead says: “While we cannot control overall traffic levels in the market, we can and do help our airline customers to be more competitive through the quality and scope of the services we provide.”
“Our considerable and ongoing annual investments in IT, staff training, technology and pharma compliance will keep Hactl and its carrier community ahead of the game, and position us well to maximise all available business opportunities.”