Hong Kong’s terminal operators are riding a fruit-led reefer wave as shipments are diverted from ports in mainland China due to congestion.
According to a report from The Loadstar, Chinese authorities have increased Covid-19 inspections of incoming cargo, slowing down imports.
Hong Kong has been the main beneficiary of this bottleneck as it has been able to offer “unhindered” reefer spots, according to Hong Kong Seaport Alliance (HKSPA).
“HKSPA has provided reefer capacity in times of other ports’ closure and reefer plug shortage,” said Angelina Lei, customer service director of Hongkong International Terminals.
“We have collaborated with shipping lines to divert and relocate their reefer shipments to Hong Kong, helping them catch up vessel schedules.”
Fresh produce has been the bright spot in this boom. HKSPA said in the first half of 2020 the fruit trade saw a 5 per cent growth year-on-year compared to a 3 per cent decline for dry cargo.
HKSPA said more than US$3bn worth of fresh produce arrives at its terminals every year, with around 60 per cent transported to mainland China.
“Through the deployment of more than 7,800 reefer points – twice the capacity of other terminals in South China – and its high levels of efficiency and productivity, HKSPA expedites every container of fruit through its facilities to enable the freshest delivery to market,” HKSPA said.