Press Release

Hong Kong Seaport Alliance: Capturing Growth in the Cold Chain Market

27 November 2020

Hong Kong Seaport Alliance (HKSPA)’s mission to embrace opportunities in the growing cold chain market is reaping rich rewards.

Simply by leveraging on Hong Kong’s unique location to support fruit businesses tapping into the growing Mainland market, fresh produce worth more than US$3 billion is arriving at HKSPA’s terminals annually. Around 60% of this crop is then transported onward to Mainland China. Hong Kong is now widely recognised as the port of choice for fruit shipments across the border.

Through the deployment of more than 7,800 reefer points, twice the capacity of other terminals in South China – and its high levels of efficiency and productivity, HKSPA expedites every container of fruit through its facilities to enable the freshest delivery to market.

Today, consignees can collect shipments immediately after discharge and be on their way within 15 minutes.

Simple, convenient and fast customs procedures means Shenzhen is an hour away, while one of the world’s largest fruit outlets, Guangzhou’s Jiangnan Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market, is just four hours by road. For large or less time-sensitive shipments, shippers may choose the Hong Kong-Nanhai Reefer Express 17-hour barge service to get their fruit consignments to market. It is this level of service that makes Hong Kong the main gateway to Mainland China for fruit shipments.

Trends in cool chain demand: With fruit imports into the Mainland forecast to grow 55% by 2025, there are currently no limits to the potential of this burgeoning market.

HKSPA is catering to Mainland Chinese consumers’ growing taste for Thai durian by offering 30 weekly calls connecting Thailand and Hong Kong. As a result, durian shipments from this Southeast Asian nation grew 35% year-on-year during the first eight months of 2020.

Concurrently, over 80% of Chilean cherries imported by Mainland China arrived via Hong Kong - and volumes are rising.

HKSPA achieved a healthy 8% growth during the cherry season of 2019/20 (Dec 2019 to May 2020). Shippers providing for this increasing demand for Chilean cherries, are offered access to the highest frequency of shipping services from the South American cities of Valparaiso and San Antonio - with the fastest transit time of 22 days.

As part of an ongoing campaign, on 5 November, HKSPA organised a successful webinar with the theme, “Tapping into the fast growing fruit markets”. Guest speakers from key industry players and over 100 participants attended the event.

HKSPA will continue to collaborate with fruit traders and shipping line partners to seize mutually beneficial opportunities along the cold chain through Hong Kong.