Hactl’s growth result is attributed to a modal shift from sea to air, overflow from mainland Chinese airports, and the continuing strengthening of e-commerce traffic.
Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl) has achieved a 16.6 per cent increase in handled tonnage in the first half of 2017. The total of 860,242 tonnes represents growth in exports, imports, transhipments and mail/express. Hactl has now outperformed the Hong Kong market every month since September 2016. At the same time, the number of charter flights handled by Hactl grew from 100 (January-May 2016) to 602 in the same period of 2017.
Mark Whitehead, Chief Executive, Hactl, says, “Deliberate reductions in ocean capacity, continued slow-steaming and port congestion due to mounting use of mega vessels are all playing a part in the shift from ocean to air. The volumes involved will be of little concern to the ocean business, but are a significant bonus to the airfreight industry.”
Hactl expects the growth trend to continue for the rest of 2017, but at a slower pace, continues Whitehead, “Forwarders and airlines are planning and booking ahead for the final quarter, having been caught out in 2016 by high spot rates driven by restricted capacity.” Overall, though, Whitehead remains bullish about longer-term trends.
“Our considerable and ongoing annual investments in IT, staff training, technology and pharma compliance will keep Hactl and its carrier community ahead of the game, and position us well to maximise all available business opportunities,” he says.