Cathay Pacific Group delves into intermodal cargo operations

Cathay Pacific director cargo Tom Owen (fourth from left), Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) executive director, commercial Cissy Chan (fourth from right), Cathay Pacific Services Ltd chief operating officer Mark Watts (third from left) and Airport Authority Hong Kong general manager, aviation logistics Ian Kwok (third from right) pictured at the signing ceremony with other AAHK personnel. Photo: Cathay Pacific Group

Cathay Pacific Cargo and the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal have become the first carrier and first cargo terminal operator to have cargo shipments accepted in Dongguan and transported to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) by ship for outbound airfreight, enabling full upstream sea-air intermodal export cargo handling between the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and Hong Kong.

The HKIA Logistics Park in Dongguan, developed by the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), enables shipments to be security screened, built up and accepted as cargo for flights before being loaded on ships that unload in a secured area at HKIA, from where pallets and ULDs can be towed straight to a waiting aircraft.

The pilot scheme’s base will migrate to a permanent facility from 2025.

Cissy Chan, executive director, commercial of AAHK, said: “The HKIA Logistics Park with sea-air intermodal connectivity to HKIA aims to reinforce HKIA’s role as the international air cargo hub in the GBA.”

CPSL is the first cargo terminal operator (CTO) to sign an air cargo service agreement with AAHK to operate in the pilot scheme, and has established what is believed to be a first of its kind upstream bonded facility – Cathay Cargo Terminal Dongguan – located at the Bestar Logistics Centre in Dongguan.

“We have been actively engaged in the downstream trials of the service over the past year and are delighted to be the first CTO to have provided full upstream acceptance of intermodal cargo in Dongguan,” said terminal operator Cathay Pacific Services Ltd chief operating officer Mark Watts.

“By extending our air cargo handling services to Dongguan, we are able to offer more choice and more value-added services for our customers, as part of our vision to become the world’s most customer-centric air cargo terminal operator.”

Export cargo can be screened, palletised and accepted for shipment by cargo terminal operators in Dongguan, before being transported by ship to a secured pier area at HKIA for air transhipment to worldwide destinations via Cathay Pacific’s passenger and freighter network.

Cathay Pacific said its director of cargo Tom Owen is looking forward to offering a brand new mode of cargo solution for the Hong Kong logistics industry, and to developing exports from – and then over the coming months, imports into – the GBA, which is a focus area for the airline.

Bolloré, Cargo Link, DHL Global Forwarding, Dimerco and Yusen Logistics took part in trials using real cargo shipments, said Owen.

The scheme aims to offer cost savings, improved efficiency and reliability, as well as improved cut-off times for shipments from the GBA.

All parties will continue extending the operation to include imports from HKIA to the GBA via the HKIA Logistics Park.


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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]