Shipping article(s)
April 2, 2024

Sea-Intelligence noted that Hong Kong is being "rapidly deselected" from the East-West trades by all major shipping lines — a trend that has become increasingly clear from the network overviews published by the alliances.


The Danish maritime advisory firm said the network overview provided by Gemini—the newly announced long-term alliance of Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk, which starts in February 2025—provided "no direct deep-sea calls in Hong Kong."


For Ocean Alliance's updated 2024 network, direct port calls in Hong Kong will decline from 11 to just 6.


Members of the Ocean Alliance are CMA CGM Group, COSCO Shipping, Evergreen and OOCL.


"THE Alliance published their 2025 Transpacific network overview last week, and Hong Kong will be removed from their Pacific South West and Pacific North West services and will only be served on a single Asia-US East Coast service," Sea-Intelligence said.


Current members of THE Alliance are Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, HMM, and Yang Ming.


It added that furthermore, the latest Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI) data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) also shows a continuous decline in connectivity for Hong Kong over the past decade. (This is shown in Figure 1.)

 Self Photos / Files - 1145b1bd716b4b278f17417a30b70241.png

 [Source: Sea-Intelligence]

"Liner connectivity for Hong Kong dropped to its lowest point of 388 in 2023-Q4, only increasing marginally to 390 in 2024-Q1. Overall, however, the trend is a consistent sharp decline," said Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence. 


"While this does not bode well for the Port of Hong Kong, it should also be seen as a sign that an element of network consolidation is afoot, especially as it relates to transhipment hubs," he added.


The Sea Intelligence chief pointed out that analysis of network design and network efficiency will show that fewer but larger hubs are economically more efficient.


"Hong Kong appears to be the first major 'victim' of this," Murphy said. "But as the new alliance constellations improve their networks in the coming years, it is likely that more ports could risk the same fate as Hong Kong."

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