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Hong Kong Seaport Alliance Special

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Page 0 of 3 NE WORD BEST SUMS UP THE MYRIAD REASONS behind the successful formation of the Hong Kong Seaport Alliance (HKSPA): efficiency. With a more streamlined operation, productivity is increased, costs are reduced, and ultimately the customer is the main beneficiary. The collaboration between four of Hong Kong's container terminal operators — Hongkong International Terminals (HIT), Modern Terminals, COSCO-HIT Terminals (CHT), and Asia Container Terminals (ACT) — began last year. It was a bold move, designed to tackle the many challenges faced by all ports in the current climate. Hong Kong, once one of the world's busiest container ports, had been losing global market share. Pressure was increasing due to mega vessel deployment by shipping lines and a gradual decline in cargo traffic as a result of stiff competition from neighboring ports. The dynamics of the container shipping market were changing. The establishment of free trade zones in mainland China, and the relaxation of Chinese cabotage rules, meant that the Hong Kong port business was under real threat. With the very future of the industry in Hong Kong at stake, a drastic solution was called for. It came in the form of the HKSPA in January 2019. The formation of the Alliance reflected the changing needs of the customer. More mega vessels were bringing more physical and operational challenges for ports, such as how to deal with berthing on arrival, provide sufficient berthing space, and organize yards to support the loading and unloading of containers. Mega vessels were increasingly carrying containers from multiple liners, resulting in more trucking between terminal operators in Hong Kong. This, however, was proving highly inefficient and costly. 56 The Journal of Commerce | March 2 2020 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION OF THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE

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