Cathay Pacific Cargo and the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal, operated by Cathay Pacific Services Ltd (CPSL), 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.
In a statement, Cathay Pacific said 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.
"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," commented Cissy Chan, executive director of commercial of AAHK.
"The initiative brings our extensive air network, enormous handling capacity and efficient services to the doorstep of the air cargo customers in the GBA, contributing to the supply chain and economic development of the region," Chan added, citing "keen support" from industry partners.
The Cathay Pacific Group pioneered with AAHK the implementation of the pilot scheme of this strategic initiative.
Source: Cathay Pacific Group
In the announcement, Cathay said 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 its own 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 Mark Watts, chief operating officer of CPSL.
"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," he added.
Cathay noted that the new facility is fully compliant with Hong Kong's air cargo security regulations, and export cargo can be screened, palletised and accepted for shipment by cargo terminal operators in Dongguan before being transported seamlessly by ship to a secured pier area at HKIA for air transhipment to worldwide destinations via Cathay Pacific's passenger and freighter network.
New mode of cargo solution
Cathay Pacific Director 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.
"We are delighted to join hands with AAHK to promote the economic growth of Hong Kong and the region while further strengthening HKIA's status as an international aviation hub by using this first and only upstream facility of its kind," Owen said.
"We would like to extend our thanks to our friends at Bolloré, Cargo Link, DHL Global Forwarding, Dimerco and Yusen Logistics, who helped to realise the viability and benefits of this programme with trials using real cargo shipments," Owen added.
Cathay Pacific noted that the scheme would 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.
The scheme is open to those Hong Kong freight forwarders that are "regulated agents" (RA), and they will need to obtain acceptance from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) for their application of Supplementary Pages to the Regulated Agent Security Programme (RASP), which extend the RAs' remit to upstream operations.
Cathay added that the HKIA Logistics Park in Dongguan uses CAD-approved X-ray machines and Explosive Trace Detectors, which are operated by AVSECO staff.
"The HKIA Logistics Park offers a cost-effective and efficient end-to-end solution to our freight forwarders and shippers in moving cargo to and from the GBA," Cathay Pacific Cargo's Owen said, adding that customers can benefit from competitive rates on screening, palletisation and terminal charges.
"The project is a tremendous opportunity to further develop an important regional market and demonstrate the strength of Hong Kong as the leading air cargo logistics hub by increasing Cathay Pacific Cargo's attractiveness to our customers," Owen further noted.