Home » Breaking News, Ports/Terminals » Hong Kong’s Hactl continues to recover, remains cautious

Cargo throughput at Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) – a major air cargo handler at the Hong Kong International Airport – showed a strong recovery in both exports and transshipment traffic in the first quarter of 2012.

March 2012 saw exports up 0.4 percent on the previous year, at 137,598 tonnes – the best figure in 16 months.

At the same time, transshipments were up 7.7 percent at 58,543 tonnes – the best showing ever. And, despite another disappointing import figure of 57,630 tonnes, down 10 percent on 2011, Hactl’s March total of 253,771 tonnes was also the best in a year, narrowly missing the March 2011 throughput by just 0.7 percent.

For the first quarter of 2012 as a whole, Hactl handled a total of 633,935 tonnes: just 2.5 percent down on the same period of 2011, which was to prove the final quarter of the post-recession boom. The quarter’s top export market was Europe, at 27.9 percent of the total. Imports were led by Southeast Asia at 40.4 percent of the total. The region also dominated transshipment traffic, with 42.5 percent of the total.

Said Lilian Chan, executive director of Hactl: “We have progressively closed the gap which opened up during 2011, when we experienced a fall to as much as 12 percent below the previous year’s strong performance, in May 2011.

“The anomaly created by the different dates of the Chinese New Year in 2011 and 2012 has now worked its way through, so comparisons are more meaningful again. But what is not yet clear is whether the rest of 2012 will track the trends of 2011 again, or whether our first quarter recovery is a sign that we are now gradually returning to 2010 traffic levels, and underlying growth.”

She concludes: “We remain hopeful but cautious. Important markets in Europe and the USA are still unsettled. We continue to support our customer carriers with heavy investment and rigorous quality controls, and we hope these are factors in the improved market shares shown by some. But global trade is bigger than all of us, and generally defies accurate prediction.”


Photo: Hactl

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