The city’s massive container facility has seen rivals, especially in mainland China, expand and improve at a faster pace, air and rail options for shipping goods increase and, more recently, uncertainty resulting from the ongoing Washington-Beijing trade war.
Since 2004, Hong Kong has gone from being the biggest port in the world in shipping containers processed to a ranking, according to Lloyd’s List, of fifth in 2017. Industry expectations are for further declines.
According to Lloyd’s List, Shanghai handled just over 40 million containers in 2017, which was nearly double Hong Kong’s total of less than 21 million.
Peter Levesque, group managing director at Modern Terminals, a container terminal operator, told CNBC’s Emily Tan on Monday that Chinese and other ports in the region have become more competitive and that has put pressure on Hong Kong.
“So we need to do something to stop that trend, to stop the downward trend, and to maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness in the region,” Levesque said.