Hong Kong’s port business slides down in the world’s busiest and dominance ranking. Its rivals in Asia that include Shanghai, Shenzhen and Busan are doing well in recent years that they went ahead and overtook the country’s rank which has always been in the top 5.
Hong Kong was the world’s busiest port for over a decade until 2004 and since last year, it sits at no. 7. As per South China Morning Post, the ranking today is as follows: Shanghai, Singapore, Ningbo, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Busan, Hong Kong, Qingdao, Tianjin and Jebel Ali.
It was stated that the port business in Hong Kong took a dive and lost its top five ranking for the first because of the stiff competition and effects of the US-China trade war that leaders are still trying to resolve today. With these reasons, from its 1990s glory days, it is slowly falling and its rivals continue to move up.
Lam Hoi-tat, head of the Hong Kong Container Tractor Owner Association said that he feels bad for the apparent decline of their country’s port business. He noted that at present, only 10,000 container trucks were operating in Hong Kong and revealed that in the 1990s, they have at least 30,000 in all.
“You can tell how the industry has shrunk throughout the years in terms of the number of container trucks in the city,” he laments. The chairman indicated that the port business suffered because of the trade war by calling it as the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Neil Davidson, a senior analyst at London-based Drewry Shipping Consultants, mentioned that this is the first time that Hong Kong had slipped out of the top five. He said that since Drewry started recording global port data in 1979, it is only now that the said country did not make it to the first five’s best in terms of business turnouts.
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“For many years, through to the 1990s, Hong Kong was really the only effective port for serving southern China, as mainland Chinese ports were underdeveloped,” Straits Times quoted Davidson as saying. “Since then, of course, mainland Chinese ports like Shenzhen and Guangzhou have seen huge expansion and investment in modern facilities, and have become much more effective competitors to Hong Kong.”
The shifting rank of Hong Kong’s port business, pushed billionaire freight-terminal operator, Li Ka Shing, to take action. He is one of the world’s leading port operators and in a bid to cut costs and improve efficiency in port operations, announced in January that Hong Kong International Terminals formed an alliance with rival dock operators. The move is expected to bring positive outcomes to revive HK’s port dominance.