A study on Hong Kong’s strategic plan for its port, The Strategic Development Plan for Hong Kong Port 2030 (HKP2030), done by BMT Asia Pacific on behalf of the Hong Kong government has finally been completed.
It is anticipated the study will play a key role in guiding Hong Kong’s port development policy and planning investment for the future.
BMT did an in-depth review of the containerised cargo market in Hong Kong and developed a plan to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s port sector via a series of staged improvements to the existing container terminals and facilities, through the allocation of more berths, barging sites and back-up land.
“We want to make sure we spend money wisely. Considering global shipping trends affecting Hong Kong, as well as the capital costs associated with various development options, the most viable path for meeting the future growth anticipated over the next 15 years is clearly to focus enhancements on the existing container terminal facilities,” said BMT Asia Pacific md Richard Colwill.
In summary, after looking at the broad trends of diminishing share of South China cargo via HKP, that are counter-balanced by growing captive (due to current Mainland cabotage rules) international transhipment market, the study anticipated that Hong Kong “will retain a certain level of market share of the South China cargo base due to increasing labour costs and the possible RMB appreciation impacting other South China ports, and thus enhancing the cost competitiveness of HKP”.
It believes that the port remains competitive and has a captive market for foreign carriers wishing to tranship China-related cargo, and may also compete as an international transhipment hub over the wider Asia region.
Container throughput forecasts growth at an average of 1.5% a year up to 2030 and ass such additional capacity will be needed.The key issues plaguing the port relating to the uneven utilisation of facilities, the shift of inland transport mode for South China cargo from trucking to barging, the challenges with supporting international transhipment, and the growth of vessel sizes were also highlighted. Local challenges include notably greater transport and handling costs and the difficulties of implementing port development projects.
Meanwhile the study recommended various options for the future development of the port. “With these measures it is forecast that the existing infrastructure can be augmented to meet future demand forecasts up to 2030 without the need for creation of new terminal from scratch (ie CT10),” the study concluded.
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