Release Date: 16 January 2009
Release ID: 1092
Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) today reported that its 2008 aggregate air cargo throughput had registered a decline, due primarily to the severe global economic downturn and the continued weak performance in import/export trading activities particularly in the latter part of the year.
In 2008, Hactl handled 2,533,510 tonnes, representing a year-on-year reduction of 3.8%. Total volumes handled by Hactl for December and the fourth quarter were 167,845 and 593,082 tonnes, down 29.7% and 19.4% respectively compared with the same periods in 2007.
“The global economic performance remains bleak. With the toxic combination of falling trading demand and the possible modal shift from air to ocean taking place, the whole air cargo industry is undergoing an extremely challenging ice age,” said Ms Lilian Chan, Hactl’s General Manager of Marketing and Customer Service.
Import volume significantly dropped in December and the fourth quarter, registering a decline of 29.6% and 22.3% respectively, with a total of 44,787 and 142,993 tonnes being handled. Imports from the USA dropped by 11.2% in the fourth quarter whilst those from Europe and other Asian countries also registered significant declines. Aggregate import tonnage for the whole year was 644,885 tonnes, indicating a year-on-year decline of 6.4%.
A total of 88,222 and 334,159 tonnes of export cargo were handled in December and in the fourth quarter, down 34.0% and 21.5% respectively against the same periods in 2007. Unlike in most countries where double-digit decreases of export volume were recorded in the fourth quarter, export trading to the Middle East from October to December recorded a 19.3% year-on-year rise. The total export volume for the whole year was 1,394,146 tonnes, down 6.0% year-on-year.
Transshipment volume for December was 34,836 tonnes, down 16.0% against the same month in 2007. Cumulative transshipment tonnage for the fourth quarter was 115,930 tonnes, down 8.0% year-on-year. Having benefited from the excellent transshipment performance in the first three quarters, the transshipment volume for 2008 was 494,479 tonnes, still registering a 7.3% year-on-year growth.
Lilian Chan continues, “In light of the uncertainties in the global economies and loss of consuming power and confidence around the world, we can only be cautiously optimistic about the possible recovery in the latter half of 2009. In the meantime, Hactl is pushing hard to further broaden our intermodal transport services, as well as providing our customer with more tailor-made service initiatives and support. Notwithstanding the challenges ahead, Hactl’s role and commitment in sustaining Hong Kong’s unique aviation hub status will always remain.”
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