HK lo­gis­tics chains cash in on ris­ing con­sumer de­mand

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA INTERNATIONAL IMPORT EXPO - By EDITH LU in Shang­hai edithlu@chi­nadai­

Buoyed by ris­ing con­sumer de­mand for im­ported prod­ucts, Hong Kong lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies will lever­age their op­er­a­tions on the Chi­nese main­land to in­crease im­port or­ders from over­seas to the main­land.

Kerry EAS Lo­gis­tics — the main­land sub­sidiary of Hong Kong-based Kerry Lo­gis­tics Net­work — aims to link up with more main­land im­port busi­ness clients or for­eign com­pa­nies who need to ex­port to the main­land through the on­go­ing China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo in Shang­hai.

Wil­liam Zhang Wei, di­rec­tor of Kerry EAS, told China Daily the com­pany will strengthen its im­port sec­tor, as the vol­ume of ex­ports is cur­rently larger than that of im­ports.

The lo­gis­tics com­pany signed a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing at the expo on Thurs­day with the trad­ing arm of Shang­hai-based prop­erty de­vel­oper Green­land Group on global sup­ply chain lo­gis­tics ser­vices.

Green­land Group is build­ing a global com­mod­ity trad­ing hub ad­ja­cent to the Na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, where the expo is be­ing held. Kerry EAS will pro­vide a string of ser­vices cov­er­ing air freight, ship­ping, stor­age and de­liv­ery to the hub.

In his key­note ad­dress at the expo’s open­ing cer­e­mony on Mon­day, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said China will ex­pand the China (Shang­hai) Pi­lot Free Trade Zone to in­clude a new sec­tion, and will en­cour­age and sup­port bold and creative steps by Shang­hai to ad­vance in­vest­ment and trade lib­er­al­iza­tion and fa­cil­i­ta­tion.

Asked whether Hong Kong would lose its luster af­ter Xi or­dered the ex­pan­sion of the Shang­hai pi­lot FTZ, Zhang said Hong Kong still has its tra­di­tional ad­van­tage in trade as a free port and a win­dow to the world.

“The city used to play the role of an en­tre­pot, bring­ing goods from over­seas to the main­land and vice-versa. It still has many trade and lo­gis­tics tal­ents and has con­tin­ued to trans­form th­ese years,” he said.

On the Sino-US trade stand­off, Zhang noted that as Kerry EAS is fo­cus­ing on con­nect­ing Asia with the US, the on­go­ing dis­pute is bound to have an im­pact on the com­pany, es­pe­cially in Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber.

He said they have seen a de­cline in the vol­ume of goods ex­ported to the US but, for their par­ent com­pany Kerry Lo­gis­tics Net­work, ex­port­ing goods from South­east Asia to the US is be­com­ing pop­u­lar.

Danny Wong Kwok-ke­ung, di­rec­tor of Hong Kong-based Cargo Freight Ser­vices, said, how­ever, their re­cent air de­liv­ery or­ders from the Chi­nese main­land to the US had surged as US com­pa­nies are try­ing to buy as much goods as they can be­fore the 25-per­cent US tar­iffs go into ef­fect early next year.

Kerry Lo­gis­tics and Cargo Freight Ser­vices are among more than 160 busi­ness and pro­fes­sional groups from Hong Kong tak­ing part in the expo.

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