Hong Kong has been implementing new barge initiatives to attract operators and increase cargo volumes at the city's major gateway.
The Hong Kong Seaport Alliance (HKSPA) said in a statement that barge operators in Hong Kong and South China have been benefitting from improved operational efficiency made possible by new barge initiatives which have been implemented since September.
Some key features of the new barge initiatives include:
- Standardisation of operations policy across HKSPA’s facilities for barges;
- Single berthing arrangement by zone; and
- Favourable dockage scheme
HKSPA noted that with higher efficiency and flexibility, the turnaround time of barge voyages has been improved and barge operators are incentivised to expand the scale of operations and coverage for achieving economies of scale.
With the state-of-the-art facilities of 12 dedicated barge berths, HKSPA handles 100 daily barge calls with seamless cargo connections between more than 100 terminals in South China and over 200 international weekly vessel calls.
“We welcome the new barge initiatives of HKSPA which enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong in serving the barge hinterland in South China and its position as a major transhipment hub," Tony Tong, chairman of Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association said.
Barge volume, he noted, is crucial to the logistics industry in Hong Kong and the new initiatives offer values to all stakeholders by streamlining barge operations and enhancing the economics and efficiency in operating barge cargo connection in Hong Kong.
"We look forward to working with the industry to strengthen the cargo volume here in Hong Kong,” he added.
Ellis Chung, chairman of Guangdong and Hong Kong Feeder Association, noted that improving the turnaround time of our barges is "always the key" to enhancing efficiency and improving the product offering to shipping line customers.
"HKSPA’s adoption of the terminal neutral model and standardisation of operations policy is expected to shorten our turnaround time, improve our slot utilisation, simplify administration and provide us with more flexibility," he said.
"We are dedicated to collaborating with HKSPA to improve the competitiveness of barge services in Hong Kong."
With the new initiatives, HKSPA said it is reaffirming the city’s status as a world-class gateway for barges to and from South China, and it supports the overall objective to enhance efficiency and incorporate innovation to improve the competitiveness of the Port of Hong Kong.
The HKSPA consists of four terminal operators: Hongkong International Terminals, Modern Terminals, COSCO-HIT Terminals and Asia Container Terminals.