Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl) reported its full-year 2014 handle – adjusted for the loss of Cathay Pacific’s business last year – up 8.7% to 1.81 million tonnes.
The adjusted growth was led by a 28.6% jump in transshipment volume to 131,000 tonnes, while import volume was up 10.3% to 498,000 tonnes and export volume rose 6.7% to 1.04 million tonnes. Hactl now also reports “Other” volume (including mail, express, and on-board courier shipments), which turns out to be fairly significant – 150,000 tonnes in 2014, up 3.1% over the previous year.
Discussing the result, Hactl CEO Mark Whitehead said: “This is a very pleasing result, with good increases in all areas of our business. Transshipments once again showed exceptional growth, fueled both by increased road feeder activity by our subsidiary Hacis, and the continuing underlying development of Hong Kong as Asia’s preferred regional hub.”
He also had a few words to say about the future of the airport: “The ongoing strong growth of our business, based on our 100 airline customers, clearly demonstrates the need for Hong Kong’s third runway. For Hong Kong to continue such impressive development and maintain its position as the world’s number one cargo hub, we must have the additional capacity necessary for airlines to realize their full potential.”
And regarding the Cathay Pacific Airways business that Hactl lost: it didn’t evaporate, but rather Cathay Pacific built its own cargo terminal at HKG, and, over the course of 2013, migrated its cargo handling to the new facility. In 2014, the first year of full operation, Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal (CPCT) handled 1.45 million tonnes, with its busiest day on 8 November, when it handled 5.5 thousand tonnes.
Cathay Pacific Services Limited (CPSL), the terminal’s operator, said transshipments accounted for 54% of the 2014 volume, while exports accounted for 31% and imports for 15%.
Not all of the volume comes from Cathay Pacific Airways. From the beginning, the company said that once the handling of Cathay cargo was proceeding smoothly, the terminal would actively begin seeking business with other carriers. In mid-January, CPSL announced the acquisition of its seventh customer, as Taiwan-based EVA joined a list that now includes, in addition to Cathay Pacific and subsidiary carrier Dragonair; AirAsia, Air Hong Kong, EVA Airways Corporation, Royal Brunei Airlines and Thai AirAsia.