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Port of Hong Kong

As one of the busiest ports in the world, Hong Kong has a unique geographical location, advanced infrastructure and rich shipping history, attracting shipping and logistics companies from all over the world.

The Port of Hong Kong has always been one of the top ten container ports in the world. The port has a fascinating history as it was once under British rule. How did it become one of the largest seaports? What are the advantages? Why choose Hong Kong as your shipping hub?

Port of Hong Kong

Introduction to Hong Kong Port

Hong Kong Port is located in southern China, on the east side of the Pearl River Estuary, between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. It is one of the busiest and most efficient international container ports in the world. Its geographical location is superior, connecting important routes between mainland China, Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, and it is an important transportation hub connecting all continents in the world.

Hong Kong Port has 15 port areas, of which Victoria Port is the largest and has the best conditions, providing a convenient and safe berthing place for large ocean-going cargo ships.

The Port of Hong Kong port authority: Hong Kong Marine Department

The Port of Hong Kong website: mardep.gov.hk/en/home.html

Port of Hong Kong vessel schedule

You can check the Port of Hong Kong vessel schedule here.

The Port of Hong Kong – port facilities

  • Kwai Tsing Container Terminals
    • Terminals 9
    • Berths 224
    • Quay cranes 96
    • Quay length (meters) 7,794
    • Area (hectares) 279
    • Terminal operators 5
  • River Trade Terminal
    • Terminal 1
    • Berths 49
    • Quay cranes 19
    • Quay length (meters) 3,000
    • Area (hectares) 65
  • Mooring Buoys
    • Owned by the Government “A” Class 11; “B” Class 4
    • Owned by private 1,967
  • Anchorages
    • Number 24
    • Area (hectares) 4,326

History of Hong Kong Port

The history of Hong Kong Port can be traced back to the 19th century. It was an important trading port established during the British colonial period. Since its opening as a port in 1841, Hong Kong has gradually developed into a trade and shipping center in East Asia.

Colonial period

During the British colonial period, Hong Kong’s port quickly emerged as a trade hub connecting mainland China and the world. With its free port policy and strategic location, Hong Kong attracts a large amount of international shipping and trade activities.

Modern development

After returning to China, Hong Kong continued to maintain its status as a free port and continued to upgrade port facilities and improve logistics service levels.

The Port of Hong Kong (HK KCO) is the third largest container port in the Pearl River Delta metropolitan area. It is a natural deep water port. In 2004, the container throughput of Hong Kong Port ranked first in the world. In the following years, its status was replaced by ports such as Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Los Angeles. Its container throughput dropped from nearly 24.5 million TEU (2008) to 16.5 million TEU (2022).

In 2021, there were an average of 170 vessel calls per day. This number is not high as the number in 2016 was three times that number. Most ships arriving at the Hong Kong port are cargo ships and container ships. In terms of port activity, ocean-going cargo ships far outnumber river cargo ships (150 million tons versus 64 million tons).

Today, the Port of Hong Kong is one of the busiest container ports in the world, handling tens of millions of TEUs each year.

History of Hong Kong Port

Hong Kong Port VS Shenzhen Port and Shanghai Port

AspectPort of Hong KongPort of Shenzhen Port of Shanghai
LocationStrategic location at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta. It provides access to international shipping routes.Good location on the southeastern coast of China. It’s adjacent to Hong Kong and close to manufacturing hubs in Guangdong Province.Located at the Yangtze River and provides access to China’s interior regions and international trade routes.
Port FacilitiesWorld-class container terminals.Equipped with advanced technology and efficient cargo handling capabilities.Rapidly expanding port facilities with ongoing infrastructure development.It has the world’s busiest container port. Good expansion for future needs.
Customs and Regulatory EnvironmentBusiness-friendly customs procedures. Low import/export tariffs. Clear regulatory policies.Gradually improving customs and regulatory policies.Technological advancements to optimize customs procedures.
Logistics InfrastructureLargest logistics infrastructure. Developing logistics capabilities.Developing and advanced logistics capabilities. 
Trade AgreementsFree trade agreements separate customs territory.China’s trade agreements. Initiatives like the Belt and Road.China’s trade agreements. Initiatives like the China-Europe freight train service.
Economic StabilityStable economic environment. Robust legal system.Strong economic growth.Dynamic economic growth.

Why choose Hong Kong Port as your shipping hub

There are many significant advantages to choosing Hong Kong as a shipping hub, which place Hong Kong in an important position in the global shipping and logistics network.

  1. Efficient logistics services
    The Hong Kong Port has efficient logistics and warehousing services, enabling rapid handling and transshipment of cargo. Modern management systems and equipment ensure the safety and on-time delivery of goods.
  2. Free port policy
    Hong Kong implements a free port policy, and goods entering and exiting do not need to pay tariffs. This greatly reduces the operating costs of enterprises and increases the mobility of goods and trade convenience.
  3. Excellent connectivity
    Hong Kong Port maintains close shipping connections with major ports and cities around the world and has an extensive shipping network. A large number of cargo ships depart from Hong Kong every day to all parts of the world.
  4. Excellent service
    Hong Kong has experienced shipping and logistics professionals who can provide quality services, including freight forwarding, customs clearance, warehousing and distribution. These professional services ensure smooth transportation of goods from origin to destination.
  5. Safe and reliable
    Hong Kong ports have strict safety management and operating regulations to ensure the safety of goods during transportation. The port’s security measures and risk management system effectively prevent potential threats and losses.
  6. Political and economic stability
    Hong Kong’s political and economic environment is relatively stable, providing a reliable business and investment environment. Stable policies and legal systems protect the rights and interests of enterprises and reduce business risks.
Why choose Hong Kong Port as your shipping hub

How can Hong Kong’s shipping hub reduce costs?

Now that you know the different advantages of Hong Kong’s shipping hub, it’s worth knowing how to reduce the cost of shipping from this port.

Here are some tips to improve the profitability of importing goods from Hong Kong:

Optimize packaging
Packaging has a big impact on shipping costs. You need to choose efficient packaging to minimize shipping costs.
In fact, you have to reduce weight and volume without compromising the integrity of the product. Remember, safety is your top priority. This way, you can utilize cargo space and increase profitability.

Consolidate Freight
Consolidating shipping is an important process in freight transportation. During this process, you combine multiple orders into a single shipment.
In fact, you have to consolidate multiple orders into a single shipment to reduce overall shipping costs. By batching orders, you can optimize shipping plans and achieve economies of scale.

Choose the right shipping method
Another way to optimize costs is to choose the right shipping method. This is only possible given the nature of the goods and transportation requirements.
Remember, whether it’s air, sea or road shipping, you have to choose the most cost-effective shipping method. In other words, you must ensure that goods are transported efficiently and cost-effectively from the Hong Kong port to their destination.

Negotiate with shipping companies
Negotiation always helps, and shipping from Hong Kong is no exception. You will need to negotiate all terms and rates with the shipping company to reduce shipping costs.
Offer volume discounts through long-term partnerships to increase discounts. Additionally, explore other shipping options to ensure you find the most competitive price.

Minimize duties and taxes
Duties and taxes are critical and can impact your profitability. You must explore free trade agreements, tax rebate programs and other tariff reduction strategies. This way, you can reduce import and export duties and taxes on shipping goods from Hong Kong ports.

Introduction to other ports in China

Guangzhou Port
Guangzhou Port is located in the Pearl River Delta and is known for its comprehensive port services. In 2019, it handled more than 23 million TEUs.
Major trading partners and strategic importance: The port has extensive trade relationships with approximately 500 ports in more than 170 countries and regions.
Business Background: If your business provides transportation of a variety of goods, you will find the Port of Guangzhou’s extensive port services to be an asset to your logistics strategy.

China's main sea port

Tianjin Port
Tianjin Port is located in Tianjin, northern China. Its shipping volume exceeded 16 million TEUs in 2019, providing convenience for international trade.
Major trading partners and strategic importance: It is the main maritime gateway to Beijing, connecting China with other Asian countries, Europe and the Americas (United States, Canada, MexicoPanamaBrazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela ,Argentina).
Corporate background: If your business scope involves the Beijing market, or your goods meet the needs of North China, using the logistics hub role of Tianjin Port can greatly support your logistics strategy.

Qingdao Port
Qingdao Port is located in Shandong Province, an important economic zone in China. In 2019, the company handled more than 21 million TEUs.
Main trading partners and strategic importance: Qingdao Port mainly trades with Pacific Rim countries, especially those related to grain trade.
Business Background: If you are looking to strengthen transpacific shipping routes, the port’s extensive network and grain handling capabilities may benefit your business.

Shanghai Port
Located at the mouth of the Yangtze River, the port plays an important role in China’s trade and maritime activities. With a throughput of 43.3 million TEUs in 2019, it is the largest and busiest port in the world.
Main trading partners and strategic importance: Shanghai Port has connections with the United States, Europe, Australia and Africa (KenyaNigeriaAlgeriaAngolaDjiboutiGhanaCote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Libya, Mauritius, MoroccoTanzaniaSouth Africa, Tunisia) and other countries around the world Have close trade relations. It is strategically located as the gateway to mainland China and the Pacific Ocean.
Business Background: If you plan to make significant inroads into the Asian market, particularly China and the Pacific, the Port of Shanghai could become an integral part of your shipping strategy due to its massive capacity, sustained activity and strong global presence. network.

Ningbo-Zhoushan Port
Ningbo Zhoushan is located on the coast of the East China Sea in Zhejiang Province and is an important part of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative. In 2019, the port handled more than 27 million TEUs.
Main trading partners and strategic importance: The port mainly serves the United States, the European Union, Middle Eastern countries (BahrainEgyptIranIraqIsraelJordanKuwait, Lebanon, OmanQatarSaudi Arabia, Syria, UAEYemen) and Australia. It is also home to China’s largest oil transportation base and is part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Business Background: If your business involves commodities such as crude oil, iron ore, coal, or trades with the US, EU or Australian markets, the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port may become a favorable point on your trade routes with its extensive shipping capabilities .

Shenzhen Port
The Port of Shenzhen is located in Guangdong Province, a region known for its strong economic activity. In 2019, shipping volume exceeded 25 million TEUs.
Main trading partners and strategic importance: The port is in a strategic trading position with key markets in Europe (GermanyFrance, ItalyRussiaNetherlandsBelgiumSpainPortugalTurkeySwedenFinlandRomania), the United States and East Asia.
Business Background: If you want to enter the East Asian market, you will find that the vibrant economic environment and large-scale shipping capacity of Shenzhen Port make it an important consideration in your transportation plan.

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