Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminal (Hactl), which is presently serving a total of 19 airlines with its “one-stop” service that offers benefi ts, added of service and cost advantages, expects the demand for this service to rise, asenior executive says.
As a “one-stop” handler, Hactl is the single provider of physical cargo handling, air cargo documentation and ramp handling services for freighters, leaving airlines to focus on revenue generating activities, says Lilian Chan, general manager, marketing and customerservice.
“Our service allows and offers the airline and agents more fl exibility; (so) they do not need to call different companies for different services, and last minute orders can be accommodated and late cargoes can get a higher chance to get on board the aircraft,” she adds.
Leveraging on Hactl’s infrastructure and expertise, particularly its seamless back-end support provided by its Customer Representation Unit (CRU), airlines can streamline their operation fl ow and attain effi ciency in terms of cost and manpower resources, Chansays.
Korean Air Cargo (KE), which used Hactl’s physical cargo handling service since its inception in 1976, and added documentation handling service since the Chek Lap Kok Airport opening in 1998, has become the latest one-stopservice customer.
Up till July, other one-stop services’ customer include Air Atlanta Icelandic, Jett8 Airlines Cargo, Arrow Cargo andAvient Aviation.
As at July 16, a total of 84 companies were using Hactl’s physical cargo handling services, 34 of its physical cargo handling and air cargo documentation services, and 20 of its physical cargo handling and freighter ramp handlingservices.
Asked about competition from neighbouring and regional airports, Ms. Chan says: “It is undeniable that there exists competition among the different airports in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region. But if we look at the tonnage throughput of 2006, HongKong is still leading the way.”
In 2006, Hong Kong handled 3.58 million tonnes or 87.2 of the total international air cargo throughput of the PRD region. Guangzhou handled 218,757 tonnes or 5.3 percent, Shenzhen handled 96,483 or 2.4 percent and Macau handled 210,811 or 5.1percent.
“When comparing the absolute fi gures, Hong Kong is still way ahead of the others although admittedly, the growth rates of international air cargo throughput of Guangzhou and Shenzhen have been quite impressive in recent years probably due to their relatively lower base,” Chan says.
She says: “While we are mindful of the intensifying competition from other PRD airports, we believe Hong Kong still remains highly competitive and is well able to sustain its position as the preferred logistics hub in the region.
She points out that Hactl did not want to get involved in cannibalizing price competition. Instead, the cargo terminal operator was focused on enhancing its effi ciency, service standards and creating values for customers throughout the supply chain.
A key aspect of Hactl’s strategy is to offer a full array of multi-model logistics services through Hacis, its wholly-owned subsidiary, adding to the connectivity of its airline customers and helping enhance Hong Kong’s hub position. – Wong Joon San