MESSAGE FROM GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR

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In the past year, the port industry was full of challenges and opportunities brought by the severe global supply chain disruption caused by the pandemic. A surge in demand caused an above-average growth for global container trade in 2021.  It is expected that the situation will continue into at least the first half of 2022 with full year growth moderating to more normal mid-single-digit level. However, uncertainties remain with the virus variants affecting the effectiveness of vaccines and the trade relations between China and the US keep changing.

In Hong Kong, the combined facilities of the Hong Kong Seaport Alliance have helped us to be more flexible and agile in responding to the sudden surge in demand for terminal services from our shipping line customers.  However, our growth in the second half of 2021 was limited by the increasingly high yard density due to the increased number of long-staying containers which affected our velocity and efficiency. We hope this situation can be resolved soon together with our shipping line customers to allow us to capture a better share of the market growth.  On the other hand, a new version of the Common Barge Platform has enhanced further the barge resources utilisation of HKSPA facilities with improved efficiency to barge operators.  The successful upgrade of our Terminal Operating System in late 2021 has also enhanced further our operational efficiency.

In DaChan Bay, we have managed to capture the growth opportunities brought by the pandemic by acquiring new scheduled services and handling ad hoc calls.   The completion of a number of digitalisation initiatives including Smart Vessel Operation System and Terminal Truck Operation System have enhanced further our efficiency and service level.

“In Hong Kong, the combined facilities of the Hong Kong Seaport Alliance have helped us to be more flexible and agile in responding to the sudden surge in demand for terminal services from our shipping line customers.”

We are glad to see that the HKSAR Government has included “Smart Port” in the policy address announced in October 2021.  We will continue to work with the Government to launch initiatives to make the Port of Hong Kong a “Smart Port”.  In the meantime, after the successful digitalisation of the import process with Electronic Release Order (eRO), terminal operators in Hong Kong plan to launch a pilot run of the Electronic Booking Confirmation Note (eBCN) in early 2022 to digitise the export cargo flow.

As part of our continuous efforts to enhance our sustainability performance, we have established a comprehensive Sustainability Strategy with long-term goals for all our five sustainability pillars – Corporate Governance, People, Health & Safety, Environment, and Community Involvement – providing a clear roadmap for the ongoing sustainability journey of our Company.  We are glad to share that our efforts in sustainability have been recognised and we have received several accolades including the Hong Kong Green and Sustainable Finance Awards 2021 organised by the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency and the Hong Kong Sustainability Award 2020/2021 organised by the Hong Kong Management Association.  

Without the devotion of our dedicated teams in Hong Kong and DaChan Bay, we would not have been able to overcome the unprecedented challenges and to capture the opportunities brought by the pandemic.  My heartfelt thanks go to every member of the big Modern Terminals family.

Last but not least, I would like to extend our gratitude to our customers and business partners for the great achievements we have made together in 2021. We look forward to an even more successful year in 2022!

Horace Lo
Group Managing Director