The Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics Limited (HAFFA) last week elected Gary Lau of Jet-Speed Air Cargo Forwarders (HK) Limited as chairman for a two-year term at its annual general meeting, held on 27 April.
HAFFA said it has been an ‘extraordinarily busy’ year for what has been an unprecedented time:
“When COVID-19 vaccines became available at the end of 2020, the group immediately called on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAD) to prioritise the facilitation of charter applications for the transportation of vaccines. HAFFA stressed the unique challenges, time pressures and potential scope of COVID-19 vaccine deliveries, and CAD pledged its full support to the industry in this regard.”
Another noticeable achievement was its successful lobby with the Hongkong government to solve carriers’ manpower allocation issues when members reported significant capacity reduction and whopping freight rates. The Government agreed to exempt fully vaccinated local freight crew from the mandatory quarantine requirement, with the exception of those arriving from Group A specified countries.
A major milestone was also made on a 1:1 subsidy of up to HK$1 million, for eligible parties, on new X-ray machines and explosive trace detectors required to comply with ICAO’s full cargo screening.
At an international level, HAFFA remains the only recognised body representing Members’ interests at meetings of major global and regional industry organisations, including IATA, FIATA, IFGB and the Federation of Asia-Pacific Air Cargo Associations (FAPAA).
“Looking ahead, in the near-term I hope to see a resumption of local business operations, including a reopening of the border allowing a gradual recommencement of regular cross-border business. Cross-boundary e-commerce, high-value cargo and fast-growing temperature-controlled cargo all represent major opportunities as the industry enters a new supply chain pattern,” Lau commented.
“Meanwhile, I call for unity among our members and a continuation of ongoing insights sharing in order to protect local businesses and jobs.”