Hong Kong looks to form logistics bureau

By Damian Brett

Credit: Shutterstock

Hong Kong freight forwarders have welcomed a new standalone transport and logistics bureau given the heightened importance of supply chains as a result of the pandemic.

During the first meeting of the new legislative council, Hong Kong chief executive outlined the formation of a new Transport and Logistics Bureau.

The government will separate the existing Transport and Housing Bureau into two separate offices, with the new Transport and Logistics Bureau focused solely on issues relating to the logistics industry and all areas of transportation. 

Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics (HAFFA) chairman Gary Lau welcomed the development: “The pandemic has shone the spotlight on the vital importance of the logistics industry to the Hong Kong SAR, both in terms of providing necessary goods and services to the city which are matters closely related to people’s livelihood, as well as being a major economic driver.

“When the intention to create separate government bureaus for transport and housing was first proposed during the October 2021 policy address, HAFFA warmly welcomed the concept.

“Subsequently, the latest announcement to fast-track the government overhaul demonstrates how attuned the government is to the needs of the cargo logistics industry in the city, and its willingness to fully support the consolidation of the Hong Kong SAR as an international logistics and aviation hub. This is excellent news for the city and the industry.”

Lam said the government intended to complete preparations for the proposed government overhaul by the end of March 2022, in order to present them for approval by May this year.

“Should the proposals be passed, it is envisaged high-calibre talent will be appointed to head the new bureaus,” HAFFA said.

The news comes just days after Lam warned that Hong Kong faced supply chain challenges due to the latest Covid restrictions, which have affected airfreight operations.

Cargo crew are now required to quarantine in a hotel for seven days on their return to country.

These tougher quarantine rules will see cargo traffic and the supply of goods into Hong Kong drop, warned Lam, according to Reuters.

Speaking at Hong Kong’s new ‘patriots only’ legislature, she said: “The consequences of these cargo policies will be seen very soon. We almost have no goods entering via cargo flight.”

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