The Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau Bridge will be a game-changer for Hong Kong Air Cargo Industry Services (Hacis), and it will do its utmost to maximise two-way traffic, managing director Vivien Lau (pictured) says.
The bridge, which is due to open this year, will cut journey times to 40 minutes and Lau says it will strengthen Hong Kong’s role as the region’s main hub airport.
She says: “The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will be a game-changer for our RFS services throughout the Pearl River Delta region.”
Hacis, a subsidiary of Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl), of which Lau is executive director, has set up a special task force to examine the opportunities of the link.
She explains: “This has identified potential additional depots in the Zhuhai area, which will strengthen our coverage, enhance our service levels and enable carriers serving Hong Kong to attract business for a wider market area.”
While it is waiting for the bridge to open, traffic remains strong, with an upsurge in the final quarter, with significant growth in e-commerce. Lau says: “The key factors in this positive performance were significant growth in e-commerce shipments into China, and the launch of new express lanes between Hong Kong and the e-commerce centres of Jiangmen and Heshan.”
She adds: “Hacis’ two largest road feeder centres, at Guangzhou Airport and Shenzhen Airport, showed 35 per cent growth year on year.”
This has continued into 2017, with the Guangzhou and Shenzhen depots growing 152 per cent year-on-year.
One thing that can be a challenge is changes in policy, a “constant fact of life” as Lau describes it. She says: “Last year saw policy changes at Guangzhou Airport, and new Customs restrictions on the re-bond arrangements to Xiamen Airport and Fuzhou Airport – which have resulted in higher operating costs.”
E-commerce is steadily increasing but can also be challenging, Lau explains: “E-commerce is still also in its relative infancy, and policy is evolving which requires Hacis to regularly adapt its processes and service offerings.”
Despite this, Hacis can offer a very viable, expedited transit service into and out of China helped by modern and efficient Customs in Hong Kong. Lau says: “This is an opportunity both for us and for the 100 carriers handled by our parent, Hactl; using Hacis, they can maximise the potential of their cargo capacity into and out of Hong Kong, helping to balance inbound and outbound cargo flows and so maximise revenues.”