Hactl growth outpaces Hong Kong air cargo market
01 / 08 / 2017
Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) increased its cargo tonnage by 16.6% in the first half of 2017, well ahead of the overall market, it said.
The total of 860,242 tonnes included growth in exports, imports, transhipments and mail/express. Hactl has now outperformed the Hong Kong market every month since September 2016, it claimed.
At the same time, charter flights handled by Hactl grew from 100 (January-May 2016) to 602 in the same period of 2017.
Hactl attributes growth to continuing modal shift from sea to air, overflow from mainland Chinese airports, and the continuing strengthening of e-commerce traffic.
Chief executive Mark Whitehead said: “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 trade with China via Hong Kong. Hactl’s value-added logistics arm, Hacis, continues to pursue opportunities such as working with postal authorities to provide a viable alternative for outbound mail from China that contains e-commerce items.
“We are now handling 1,000 mail bags every day, and that is providing welcome extra revenue for our airline customers,” continued Whitehead.
E-commerce has also been instrumental in the dramatic rise in Hactl’s charter handling business, as well as stable fuel costs, which have given older freighters a reprieve.
Hactl’s has also established a dedicated charter team to facilitate freighter operators’ use of Hong Kong, through all-inclusive service.
Hactl expects growth to continue for the rest of 2017, but more slowly. Continued Whitehead: “Forwarders and airlines are planning and booking ahead for the final quarter, having been caught out in 2016 by high spot rates driven by restricted capacity.”
He remains bullish about longer-term trends: “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.”
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