HKIA makes strides on sea-air intermodal logistics park

Artist's impression of the first phase of HKIA Dongguan Logistics Park. Image Source: HKIA

At the end of last month (October), Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) – operator of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) – signed an agreement with China’s Dongguan Port Group to establish a joint venture for the development of a novel sea-air intermodal transshipment facility.

HKIA Dongguan Logistics Park will be the world’s first sea-air intermodal transshipment site in which a logistics park is directly connected to an airport’s airside environment.

Such a sea-air intermodal transshipment arrangement will enable cargo security screening, palletisation and airline acceptance for export cargo of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) to be completed upstream in Dongguan in compliance with Hong Kong’s air cargo regulations before the cargo is shipped by sea to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and then for directly flown to overseas destinations as transshipments cargo.

Likewise, vice versa, international shipments can be imported to the GBA via HKIA and the logistics park. Compared to the existing model, the new transhipment arrangement is expected to save 50% of the cost and one-third of the processing time for cargo, HKIA said.

The pilot scheme was launched in April this year and the annual handling capacity of the site is forecast to reach over a million tonnes upon completion of the first phase of development (which is to cover an area of 20 hectares).

Digitalised and highly automated facilities and equipment are planned to be installed and employed at the logistics park, including autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) and customised containers.

AAHK has established a wholly-owned subsidiary for the planning, management and operation of the logistics park, in accordance with the agreement signed with Dongguan Port Group.

Cissy Chan, executive director, commercial at AAHK, believes that HKIA Dongguan Logistics Park will not only expand the hinterland for HKIA’s cargo business, but also bring “new growth opportunities for trade, logistics, and other relevant industries of Hong Kong and the entire GBA.

“We believe this project can further strengthen HKIA’s role as a double gateway connecting the GBA with the world,” she declared.

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