Hactl Returns To Growth In First Half
By Pritha Dey
Cargo throughput at Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) – the major air cargo handler at the world’s largest air cargo hub – showed consistent modest growth throughout the second quarter of 2012. The positive figures and progressive improvement throughout the first half of 2012 mean that Hactl has returned to sustained year-on-year growth for the first time since February 2011.
Hactl’s throughput for the first half of 2012 totalled 1,325,502 tonnes (down fractionally on 2011), comprising 691,684 tonnes of exports, 317,746 tonnes of imports and 316,072 tonnes of transshipments.
Exports exceeded 2011 figures in April, May and June 2012, as did transshipments – contributing to positive overall figures for all three months. Export volume to the growing markets, such as Middle East and Southeast Asia, posted strong growth in the first half of 2012, up 10.4% and 13.4% comparing to the same period in 2011 respectively. Transshipments continued to be the strongest aspect of Hactl’s business, with June’s figure of 55,655 tonnes coming close to previous records in December 2011 and March 2012.
Imports once again held overall tonnages back, with a 7.8 percent fall in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. The Euro zone debt crisis remains unresolved: import volume from Europe in the first half of 2012 recorded a year-on-year drop of 13.2 percent. Nevertheless, import volume from Middle East and Southeast Asia in the first half of 2012 remains strong, up 27 percent and 12.1 percent comparing to the same period in 2011 respectively. One the other hand, June 2012 saw the best import growth since the end of 2010 (up 7.2 percent against 2011 at 58,322 tonnes).
Says Lilian Chan, Executive Director of Hactl said, “The recovery trend in our total figures continues, and it seems likely that we shall return to modest annual growth once again, as 2012 progresses. Overall, 2012 is looking better than we anticipated, and better than many predicted. Hong Kong’s
growing role as a transshipment hub for the entire region is clearly compensating for current instability in traffic to and from China.”
The second quarter of 2012 also saw Hactl break its previous daily import record (3,770 tonnes of cargo handled in a single day), setting a new figure of 3,874 tonnes on April 28, 2012.