Horace Lo, Group Managing Director

It was an extremely challenging year for the maritime and port industry in 2023 as world trade remained soft with limited growth in the world’s largest economies after the pandemic.  High interest rates and inflation have been impacting consumer confidence, and their disposable income and spending pattern.  In addition, geopolitical tensions in various locations have brought uncertainties to the global container trade and are impacting cargo volumes in and out of China.  Industry analysts are forecasting a low single-digit growth in global container trade in 2024. Though still positive, the expected growth is lower than the average of the previous ten years.
In Hong Kong, we are glad to see that the HKSAR Government has announced Action Plans on 1) Modern Logistics Development and 2) on Maritime and Port Development Strategy in late 2023.  We will continue to collaborate with the Government and industry stakeholders to enhance the competitiveness of the Port of Hong Kong, and to make it a “Smart and Green Port”.  In this aspect, the Hong Kong Seaport Alliance has launched a “proof of concept” of its autonomous electric truck project.

“We have been progressing well in developing our plan to achieve our 2030 decarbonisation goal to eliminate direct emissions from our operations.”

In DaChan Bay, besides capacity enhancement with delivery of additional equipment, we have launched a number of digitalisation initiatives to enhance efficiency including Depot Management System, Yard Density Prediction Programme, and Empty Pick-up System Enhancement.
We have been progressing well in developing our plan to achieve our 2030 decarbonisation goal to eliminate direct emissions from our operations.  We conducted a trial of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) and became the first company in Hong Kong to test this renewable diesel in operation.  Besides deploying electric vehicles and equipment, we are also studying the possibility of using hydrogen as an alternative fuel.  In terms of health and safety, in view of the more frequent hot days brought by global warming, additional measures have been taken to reduce the heat stress risk at workplace.  We have also conducted an Employee Experience Survey in Hong Kong in late July 2023 which showed positive results in all the four key performance indicators covering Engagement, Intent to Stay, Experience Vs Expectations, and Well-being.  While we will continue our efforts in areas appreciated by our staff, we will take on board constructive feedback on other areas for further improvements.
In the coming years, there will be more challenges to the industry.  We count on our dedicated teams in Hong Kong and DaChan Bay to provide the best services and overcome those challenges together with our customers, business partners and other stakeholders.
Our great thanks go to our customers, business partners, and our people for all we have achieved in the past year.
Horace Lo
Group Managing Director