Cathay Pacific Group streamlines intermodal cargo operations at Hong Kong Airport

A Cathay Pacific Cargo Boeing 747 freighter aircraft on the ground.
Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Cathay Pacific Cargo and the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal will become the first cargo carrier to implement a process whereby palletised air cargo can be security screened at a specialist facility in Dongguan. The facility has been developed by the Airport Authority Hong Kong.

From here the cargo will be transported to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) by ship, for outbound air freight travel, without the need for further screening. 

A signing ceremony between Cathay Pacific Services Limited and the AAHK took place on Monday. This deal will make Cathay the primary Cargo Terminal Operator to begin this pilot scheme for the movement of upstream cargo.

Cissy Chan, Executive Director, Commercial of the Airport Authority Hong Kong said this of the pilot: “The initiative brings our extensive air network, enormous handling capacity and efficient services to the doorstep of the air cargo customers in the GBA, contributing to the supply chain and economic development of the region.”

“We are delighted to have keen support from the industry partners, especially the Cathay Pacific Group, which has pioneered with us the successful implementation of the pilot scheme of this strategic initiative.”

A first for Hong Kong cargo

This will be the first example of upstream sea-and-air intermodal export cargo handling between the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and Hong Kong.

The secured areas at both the Dongguan shipping facility and HKIA are what enables the pallets to only be security checked once, at the beginning of the process. 

CPSL Chief Operating Officer Mark Watts said at the signing ceremony: “By extending our air cargo handling services to Dongguan, we are able to offer more choice and more value-added services for our customers, as part of our vision to become the world’s most customer-centric air cargo terminal operator.”

Cathay has also established its own upstream bonded Cargo facility in Dongguan, located at the Bestar Logistics Centre.

During the trial phase Cathay Cargo Director Tom Owen paid thanks to some logistical partners that helped realise the benefits of rolling this scheme out. 

Owen said: “We would like to extend our thanks to our friends at Bolloré, Cargo Link, DHL Global Forwarding, Dimerco and Yusen Logistics, who helped to realise the viability and benefits of this programme with trials using real cargo shipments.”

Any freight operators that are regulated can utilise this scheme, so long as they get the green light from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department first.

The Dongguan secure facility screens the cargo utilising CAD-approved X-ray machines, along with explosive trace detectors. These machines will be operated by staff employed by the Aviation Security Company Limited (AVSECO). 

Economy of scale

“We are delighted to join hands with AAHK to promote the economic growth of Hong Kong and the region, while further strengthening HKIA’s status as an international aviation hub by using this first and only upstream facility of its kind,” Owen continued. 

Utilising this scheme will offer agents the ability to reduce costs, whilst boosting efficiency and reliability.

Involved parties have agreed to try and widen this operation to include imports from Hong Kong International Airport to the Greater Bay Area via the HKIA logistics park. 

“Our customers can benefit from competitive rates on screening, palletisation and terminal charges,” continues Cargo Director Owen.

“The project is a tremendous opportunity to further develop an important regional market and demonstrate the strength of Hong Kong as the leading air cargo logistics hub by increasing Cathay Pacific Cargo’s attractiveness to our customers,” he concluded. 

By Jamie Stokes 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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