Friday, 24 April 2020

Praise for HK Terminal Operators During Pandemic

HKSPA praises work of 4 terminal operators at HK port during outbreak

THE Hong Kong Seaport Alliance is paying tribute to all stakeholders who have kept the port of Hong Kong running smoothly during the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Expressing its gratitude and appreciation to all port and logistics workers, seafarers, port pilots, shipping lines and the authorities in Hong Kong, the HKSPA said it has made every single effort to minimise disruption to the supply chain which is crucial for the city's economy and the daily life of all Hong Kong residents.

Hong Kong led by example with reference to recommendations published by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) at the end of March by exempting crew members travelling to or from cargo ships when the Hong Kong government restricted entry for non-residents on March 25.

The IMO recommends that governments around the world designate seafarers and port service personnel as "key workers" because they provide an essential service, facilitating shipping and keeping supply chains open.

Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association chairman Roberto Giannetta praised the Hong Kong government for allowing the shipping and logistics industries to maintain smooth cargo flows.

"The Port of Hong Kong is renowned for its efficiency and flexibility as a catch-up port that can accommodate last-minute changes. At this difficult time, Hong Kong has not let us down and continues to provide the same high level of service we have come to expect from a leading international maritime centre like Hong Kong," Mr Giannetta said.

Modern Terminals managing director Horace Lo said that the role played by the port of Hong Kong is critical. "The port and logistics industry contributes 3.1 per cent of Hong Kong's GDP and supports about 180,000 jobs.

"During this unprecedented period of the novel coronavirus pandemic, it is of even greater importance to ensure smooth supply chains to deliver fundamental goods to places and people in need."

All members of HKSPA have been taking extra measures to maintain the usual high efficiency and service levels. While HKSPA encourages ship crew members to stay on board during port stays as a precaution, members are offering flexibility to facilitate crew change at terminals, which is crucial for the continued operation of shipping, an essential part of world trade. FAXTEXT = Also, serving customer needs during challenging times of shortage of reefer facilities in other ports, HKSPA has proactively worked with shipping lines to divert and relocate their reefer shipments to Hong Kong in these last couple of months to ensure temperature-controlled commodities reach final destinations in good condition.

The HKSPA consists of four terminal operators: Hongkong International Terminals, Modern Terminals, COSCO-HIT Terminals and Asia Container Terminals.

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