Services and Activities
SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES
The Hong Kong Shippers’ Council was established to protect and promote the interests of not just its members, but Hong Kong shippers in general. This body namely convene on matters relating to the transportation of merchandise by sea, land, and air.
The Council operates under the guidance of an Executive Committee comprising representatives from 15 major trade associations in Hong Kong. It also derives its broad-based representation and membership from these trade associations.
THE COUNCIL’S MISSION
At a regional and local level, the focus of the Council is to:
• Ensure an open and competitive freight market environment
• Ensure that government policy and practices are geared towards the interests of shippers
• Ensure that proper infrastructure and facilities serve the present and future needs of shippers and logistics operators
• Ensure that carriers’ charges are reasonable, set with sufficient transparency and justification, and subject to proper governance
• Ensure that Hong Kong shippers’ voices are represented locally, regionally, and internationally
The Council achieves these goals through the following actions:
1. Engagement in the Consultative Mechanism of the HKSAR Government The Council has representation in several major logistics and transport-related government committees and advisory groups, including:
• The Logistics Development Council and its various sub-committees
• Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board and its various sub-committees
• The Sea Cargo Liaison Group, Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department
• The Logistics Industry Training Advisory Group, and the Education Bureau and its various
• The Tripartite Meeting for Logistics Industry, Labour & Manpower Bureau
• The Industry Consultative Network (Logistics), Employee Retraining Board
• The Focus Group on Import/Export and Wholesale Trade Manpower Survey, Vocational
• Port Operations Committee
• Trade Single Window User Consultation Group
• RACSF Scheme Implementation Working Group
2. Engagement in Trade, Industrial, and Professional Organisations and Institutes
The Council closely co-operates with other related organisations and institutes.
The Council is represented on:
• The Shipping and Transport Committee, HKGCC
• The Logistics Service Advisory Committee, HKTDC
• Transport and Logistics Services Council, FHKI
• The Hong Kong Logistics Management Staff Association
• Hong Kong-Taiwan Business Co-operation Committee
• GBA Logistics & Supply Chain Innovation Alliance
In their mission to represent the needs of local shippers, the Council is actively engaged with relevant policy-makers and bodies that have the power to formulate and execute legislation that have a bearing on Hong Kong’s logistics industry.
Furthermore, the Council participates in many prominent government-run engagements, so that the requirements of Hong Kong’s shippers are, at the bare minimum, adequately fulfilled.
The Council has participated in discussions on:
• Air Cargo Capacity Shortage
• Air Cargo Fuel Surcharge
• Air Cargo Security Regime Reform
• Belt & Road initiatives
• Competition Issues
• Free Trade Agreements
• Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area
• Market Concentration in the Shipping Industry
• Regulated Air Cargo Screening Facilities Scheme (RACSF)
• Seaport Alliance
• Shipping Surcharges
• SME Development Fund Projects and Logistics 4.0
• Smart Logistics and Logistics 4.0
• Terminal Handling Charges (THCs)
• Trade Single Window
• 2021 Policy Address Consultation
• 2021/22 Budget Consultation
3. Protecting Shippers’ Interests and Protesting Unreasonable Shipping Lines’ Surcharges
In representing and defending shippers’ interests, the Council negotiates freight rates with carriers and service providers in an open market environment.
A sufficiently competitive market entails: transparency of charges and surcharges; the existence of cost-effective payment mechanisms; and regularly reviewed service standards.
Issues such as documentation fees, peak season surcharges, bunker adjustment factors, currency adjustment factors, port congestion surcharges, war risk surcharges, and terminal handling charges are common points of contention between shippers and service providers.
By involving the government and other relevant bodies, the Council can monitor and negotiate fair rates with carriers and freight forwarders.
4. International Cooperation
By participating in a numerous international shippers’ forums, the Council can better represent the needs of its members.
These events, which cover significant industrial developments and issues throughout the world, often end in a joint declaration between attendees, be it fairer rates or greener credentials.
Following are some examples of joint declarations made at past conferences.
4 February 2021: Asian Shippers’ Alliance Online Meeting
The Asian Shippers’ Alliance Meeting was held online. Attendees agreed to tally freight rate and surcharge figures for comparison.
17 June 2021: Asian Shippers’ Alliance Online Annual Meeting
The Asian Shippers’ Alliance (ASA) Annual Meeting 2021 was hosted by the Thai National Shippers’ Council and held via Zoom.
The meeting was attended by Indonesia National Shippers’ Council (INSC), Shippers’ Council of Bangladesh (SCB), The Hong Kong Shippers’ Council (HKSC), Macau Shipper’s Association (MSA), Malaysian National Shippers’ Council (MNSC), and Thai National Shippers’ Council (TNSC).
The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) attended the meeting as an observer.
The meeting discussed issues over astronomical freight rates and surcharges, acute container shortages, booking challenges, operations disruptions, and unacceptable supply chain reliability. Therefore, the attending councils called for government intervention to curb these difficult issues. The councils also agreed to enhance shippers’ collaboration and signed a joint statement.
13 July 2021: Global Shipper Alliance and UNCTAD Joint Webinar
The Global Shipper Alliance and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held a webinar on the current shipping crisis. The Hong Kong Shippers Council and other members of ASA joined the webinar as a member of the GSA.
Attendees discussed the causes of the current shipping crisis and its effect on developing economies, as well as supply-and-demand, establishing national carriers, and competitiveness within the industry.
19 Oct 2021: 港珠澳物流聯盟2021年線上峰會
The alliance agreement was renewed during an online conference between logistics organisations from Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai.
5. Enhancing Hong Kong’s Logistics Industry and Cementing its Position as a Leading Logistics Hub
The Council supports the Hong Kong Government’s efforts to strengthen Hong Kong’s presence as a major logistics hub within Asia, which will bring it one step further to competing on an international level.
To achieve this, the Council regularly attends various overseas meetings with the Hong Kong Government, all in the name of promoting our local logistics industry. The Council also accommodates many requests to make presentations both locally and overseas.
10 June 2021: 20th GS1 Hong Kong Summit
The Executive Director was invited to attend the 20th GS1 Hong Kong Summit and inauguration ceremony.
23 June 2021 : “財知大道” of Metro Finance
During a live broadcast session, the Executive Director gave an account of the current shipping crisis and advised importers and exporters on how best to navigate this predicament.
5 July 2021: Presentation to Hong Kong Metal Manufacturers Association
The Executive Director was invited to give a presentation to Hong Kong Metal Manufacturers Association on the shipping crisis via Zoom.
12 August 2021: Presentation to China Merchant Group : CMPort Industry Talk for 2021 HK Interns
A presentation on “From Fairs Wind Charter to Green Port” was made by the Executive Director to the China Merchant Group.
17 August 2021: “財知大道” of Metro Finance
The Executive Director of the Council was interviewed by a major radio finance channel, “財知大道” of Metro Finance, to share shippers’ concerns in the current shipping crisis.
26 August 2021: Presentation to the German Chamber of Commerce
Together with Invest HK, the Council made a presentation to the Shipping and Transport Committee of the German Chamber of Commerce. The keynote, “How the Trend of Globalisation to Regionalisation Affects Hong Kong as Regional Logistics Hub”, was largely attended by German freight forwarders and shippers.
27 August 2021: 網上座談會：航運集裝箱貿易挑戰
Along with HKEIA, the Council organised a webinar on shipping challenges, and the Executive Director was invited to be a guest speaker. The webinar attracted 90 attendees.
31 August 2021: 航運危機 – 緣由及發展全視像zoom分享交流會
Together with representatives from the China Merchant Port Holdings and Regional Container Line, the Council’s Executive Director shared his insights on the shipping crisis and presented an industry forecast. 100 participants joined the webinar.
3 September 2021: HKTDC Belt and Road Global Forum Annual Roundtable
The Forum invited the Council’s Chairman to give a presentation to about 30 government officials and other VIPs from Belt & Road countries.
2 & 10 September 2021: HKICTA 2021 Smart Mobility Award
The Executive Director acted as the Chief Assessor of the Smart Transport and Smart Logistics sessions for the ICT Awards competition.
24 September 2021: Interdisciplinary Maritime Practice Series III Webinar
The Council was a supporting organisation for this event, and our Executive Director was invited to deliver an opening address at the first session and participate in the panel discussion.
15 October 2021: LOGTECH Expo 2021
The LOGTECH Expo 2021 was organised by the Transport and Housing Bureau, and the Hong Kong Productivity Council. The Council was a supporting organisation of the Expo.
The Chairman delivered a welcome address at the opening session, while the Executive Director moderated a session on industry outlook.
20 October 2021: Press Conference on Trade Challenges
The Vice Chairman attended a press conference on trade challenges. This event was well covered by local media.
1 November 2021： Hong Kong Maritime Week 2021 – Economist Impact Insight Hour Session
The Chairman participated in a discussion session at The Economist’s ‘Insight Hour’ during Hong Kong Maritime Week 2021. The event was supported by the Transport and Housing Bureau. The session theme was, “The shipping industry’s post-COVID recovery”.
The Council was a supporting organisation of the event.
1 November 2021: Greater Bay Maritime Forum
The Chairman participated in the forum as a panel speaker.
3 November 2021: Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference
The Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference was held from 2-3 November. The Council Executive Director was invited to moderate a session called “Exclusive Dialogue”.
16 November 2021: Presentation to Hong Kong Exporter’s Association on “Shipping Container Shortage Affecting Global Chain”
The Executive Director discussed the state of the current shipping market to the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Exporters’ Association.
29 November 2021: Hong Kong ICT Awards
The Executive Director was the Chief Assessor of the Smart Logistics Award and Smart Mobility Award competition.
6. Training Courses
Over the years, the Council has organised a number of bespoke training courses, seminars, and visits to logistical sites such as ports and airports. These visits are tailored to shippers and allow them to not only gain valuable firsthand industrial knowledge, but keep abreast of the latest developments within the region.
Certificate in Shipping and Logistics Course
The Council organised the Certificate in Shipping and Logistics Course with the HKU School Professional and Continuing Education, also known as HKU Space.
The aim was to provide industry practitioners and new entrants with a comprehensive training programme that covered the basics of shipping and logistics operations. This also allowed them to build an academic progression path for practitioners to achieve higher academic and professional qualifications.
The programme covered topics such as: the carriage of goods by sea, air, and land; dangerous goods cargo handling; cargo insurance; trade documentation; e-commerce and e-shipping; procurement and supply chain management; and logistics strategy.
Visits to Kwai Chung Container Terminal and Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminal Ltd. were an integral part of the curriculum.
13 January 2021: Live Webinar: What is Good Distribution Practice and How to Mitigate Risk in Pharmaceuticals Cold Transportation?
53 people attended via Zoom.
International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code Training Programme
In lieu of the growing demand on learning how to properly handle dangerous goods (DG), the Council hosted the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code Training Programme. This was intended to raise awareness on proper safety in cargo transport and update shippers on the most up-to-date revisions to DG regulations. Over 100 participants attended.
The training programme was held on the following dates in 2021:
• 24, 27, 31 May and 2 June (44th Intake)
• 25, 28 May and 1, 3 June (45th Intake)
• 26 – 27 July (HKFSD On-site tutoring)
• 16 – 17 August (HKFSD On-site tutoring)
• 4 – 5 October (HKFSD On-site tutoring)
• 25, 27 October and 1, 3 November (46th Intake)
• 1 – 2 November (HKFSD On-site tutoring)
22 July 2021: “Industry Dialogue: Working Together to Get Though Containerised Trade Challenges” Seminar
The seminar was jointly organised by the Council and the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association. It was supported by 15 organisations, including the Logistics Development Council and the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board.
An audience of 300 — comprising 250 online and 50 in-person attendees — registered for the event. There were online attendants from Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., Spain, Sri Lanka, India, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mainland China, and Macao. Turn-out rate was high, with online attendants exceeding 190 at one time.
Feedback was positive across the board, and attendees have requested that the Council host another industry dialogue seminar.
4 Aug 2021: 香港付貨人委員會與香港創新科技及製造業聯合總會網絡分享會：海運危機的緣由、解決方案及展望
The Council jointly organised a webinar entitled, “Shipping Crisis: Cause, Solutions, and Outlook” with the Hong Kong Federation of Innovative Technologies and Manufacturing Industries. The presentation lasted for 45 minutes, and was following by a Q&A.
19 August 2021: Workshop of “Introduction of E-Commerce Logistics on Operations/Clearance/Freight Payment Collection”
The Council organised a one-day workshop focusing on e-commerce logistics, with the intention of allowing participants to better understand freight operations with respect to e-commerce logistics in greater detail. It covered e-commerce operations and cross-border operations, including customs clearance and payment.
3 November 2021: Asian Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Conference
Like past years, the Council jointly organised a session of the Supply Chain Management & Logistics Forum at the ALMAC 2021 with HKTDC.
It was supported by Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation.
The core theme was, “Is Digital Shipping the Future of the Shipping Industry?”. The Council invited an array of speakers from different backgrounds and disciplines to join the panel discussion. The Council Chairman was one of the speakers.
November 2021: Hong Kong Maritime Week 2021
The Council partnered with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport to conduct a seminar on “Blockchain in Hong Kong” at Hong Kong Maritime Week 2021.
7. Promulgating News and Messages to Shippers and the Industry
As well as posting regular updates to its official website, the Council also sends regular updates to its members. This is so our members are made aware of vital changes that take place in what is considered to be a mercurial industry.
The Council issues Shipping Alerts warning shippers to take appropriate actions to cope with shipping crises, such as high and volatile freight charges; operations disruptions in Hong Kong, Chinese ports, and other areas; and unreliability and unpredictability in supply chains.
The Council also advises how best to mitigate changes and implement alternative shipping arrangements to avoid missing shipments.
Our publication Shippers Today features in-depth articles and reports on the latest developments in the logistics, maritime, and aviation industries.
As of 2021, Shippers Today is published quarterly instead of bimonthly. It is also available online at HKTDC Research.