Air­freight leader poised to fly high

Global con­di­tions notwith­stand­ing, Mark White­head, CEO of Hong Kong Air Cargo Ter­mi­nals, ex­pects busi­ness in the long term to take off for new heights. So­phie He re­ports

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

Hong Kong Air Cargo Ter­mi­nals Ltd (Hactl), the city’s ma­jor in­de­pen­dent cargo han­dler, ex­pects busi­ness in 2015 to re­main flat from 2014, due to the de­pressed Euro­pean econ­omy and slower growth on the Chi­nese main­land.

How­ever, in the longer term, the air cargo in­dus­try will post ro­bust growth, Mark White­head, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Hactl, told China Daily.

The the­o­ret­i­cal ca­pac­ity for Hactl is to han­dle 3.5 mil­lion tons of air cargo per year. But in 2014, since Hong Kong flag car­rier Cathay Pa­cific moved to its self-han­dling ter­mi­nal next door, Hactl lost some mar­ket share, han­dling about 1.8 mil­lion tons of air cargo.

Hactl, which bills it­self as the only neu­tral air cargo ter­mi­nal op­er­a­tor at Hong Kong In­ter­na­tional Air­port, has about 40 per­cent share of the SAR’s air cargo mar­ket, matched by Cathay Pa­cific, while the rest be­longs to Asia Air­freight Ter­mi­nal (AAT), White­head said.

As for this year’s per­for­mance, White­head ex­pects it to be quite sim­i­lar to that of 2014. “Air cargo is not grow­ing at the mo­ment, partly be­cause Europe is so de­pressed,” he said, adding that the slower eco­nomic growth on the main­land has also had an im­pact on Hactl.

The air cargo in­dus­try is di­rectly linked with world trade, and any dip in the lat­ter would have a di­rect im­pact on busi­ness, White­head ex­plained. “Hong Kong is the world’s largest air cargo air­port, so we feel that im­pact very quickly. But it is a cycli­cal busi­ness, things go up and down, you just read the cy­cles and you re­act ac­cord­ingly.”

De­spite fac­ing a chal­leng­ing ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment, Hactl has been con­sis­tent in launch­ing ini­tia­tives to in­crease its com­pet­i­tive­ness.

“We al­ways have ini­tia­tives go­ing on, air cargo is a very dy­namic busi­ness. For ex­am­ple, we re­cently got our­selves cer­ti­fied un­der the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) sys­tem for han­dling phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts, which is all about be­ing able to demon­strate the tem­per­a­ture con­trol of the prod­uct the mo­ment that it ar­rives and leaves the ter­mi­nal,” said White­head, em­pha­siz­ing that Hactl is the first in Hong Kong to re­ceive this ac­cred­i­ta­tion. The WHO Good Dis­tri­bu­tion Prac­tices an­nual

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.