Hongkong International Terminals is capturing a cornucopia of exotic fruits and protein on their way to mainland China. Riding on the advantage of Hong Kong’s free port status and strategically located at the heart of Asia, HIT, the largest port operator in Hong Kong, handled approximately 600,000 teu of reefer containers in 2017.
According to Rabobank, China will overtake the United States to be the world’s top fresh fruit importer by 2025. The Insights Partners’ projection on the 2018-2020 compound annual growth rate of the world reefer market is expected to rise 7%, supported by higher fruit production and consumption in China and Intra Asia. This indicates the strong critical mass and growth potential of reefer market in China.
Addressing at the 4th Cool Logistics Asia Conference and Exhibition held in Hong Kong this month, Gerry Yim, chief executive of HPH Trust and managing director of HIT remarked, “With the sophisticated network covering all major markets and the vast hinterland, we provide fruit traders with flexibility to cater changing market dynamics.
“Ports are not homogeneous and we differentiate by shipping service network, inland connectivity, customer orientation and logistics chain integration,” he said.
The cold chain has been subject to unprecedented challenges and uncertainties, which include the geopolitical risks, increasing concern on food safety, fragmented supply chain and the high shrinkage of fresh produce. “Clearly, ports can contribute to the ecosystem and reduce shrinkage by providing a fresher proposition to customers by accelerating supply chain velocity,” Mr Yim added.
HIT is taking a proactive approach in digitalizing the process and accelerating information flow. Digitalization initiatives such as remote reefer monitoring, electronic release orders (eRO) and track and trace solutions help to bring efficiency and visibility to the supply chain. “While liners are our main customers, HIT is keen to extend the reach to stakeholders along the supply chain and co-create a logistics ecosystem,” Mr Yim said.