Container throughput in Hong Kong will continue to see growth in the coming years, but in order to cope with a projected future increase in throughput up to 2030, it is necessary to enhance the handling capacity of the existing container terminals and related infrastructural facilities, according to the ‘Study on the Strategic Development Plan for Hong Kong Port (HKP) 2030.’
The HKP2030 study proposes a series of enhancement measures. These include upgrading Stonecutters Island Public Cargo Working Area to a modern container handling facility for ocean-going or river trade vessels, thereby improving operational efficiency; enabling the River Trade Terminal, which can accommodate ocean-going vessels, to become a terminal for both ocean-going and river trade vessels; providing additional barge berths at the Kwai Tsing Container Terminals (KTCT) to relieve congestion caused by the increase of river cargo throughput; and making better use of land and other facilities around the terminals to enhance operational efficiency and accommodate future growth in transhipment.
The study forecasts that the total container throughput of HKP would have average annual growth of 1.5 per cent up to 2030, with total container throughput estimated to reach 31.5 million 20-foot equivalent units. The growth in international transhipment would be the main driver.
The study notes that in 2001-2011 the throughput at the KTCT grew faster than the total HKP throughput. This was attributed to the fact that cross-boundary transport has shifted from trucking to river transport; the size of ocean going vessels has increased; and international transhipment throughput, which was mainly concentrated at the KTCT, has surged. As a result, facilities at the KCKT have been facing greater demand than other port facilities. The HK2030 study proposes that the Administration adopt appropriate measures to enhance the handling capacity of the terminals so as to sustain the competitiveness of the HKP. The study anticipates that the above measures should be sufficient to enhance the handling capacity of existing container terminals to cope with future growth. Therefore, the study finds that planning for Container Terminal 10 (CT10) before 2030 is not recommended.
The HKP2030 recommends that the port cargo forecast be reviewed in about five years’ time to monitor the development of the Hong Kong port sector and to ensure timely provision of port facilities and port-related infrastructure.
The Hong Kong Transport and Housing Bureau spokesman said: “At today’s joint meeting of the Hong Kong Port Development Council and the Hong Kong Maritime Industry Council, members were briefed on the study findings by the consultants. The industry generally agreed with the consultants’ proposals and has requested the Administration to implement the enhancement measures as soon as possible to provide more port backup land and berthing facilities to relieve congestion at the KTCT.”
Press Release; Image: HKTDC