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. The body convenes 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 17 major trade associations in Hong Kong. Its broad-based representation and membership are derived from these trade associations.
THE COUNCIL’S MISSION
At 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; and
• 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 maintains its core think tank function, actively engaging with all consultative and advisory bodies. 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’s 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 sub-committees;
• 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 Training Council;
• The Port Operations Committee;
• The Air Cargo Security Implementation Working Group;
• The Expert Review Panel, Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre (LSCM);
• The Occupational Safety & Health Council; and
• The Merchandise Trading of E-Commerce Training Board.
2. Engagement in Trade, Industrial, and Professional Organisations and Institutes
The Council closely co-operates with other related organisations and institutes, and is represented on:
• The Shipping and Transport Committee, HKGCC;
• The Logistics Service Advisory Committee, HKTDC;
• The Transport and Logistics Services Council, FHKI;
• The Hong Kong Logistics Management Staff Association;
• The Hong Kong-Taiwan Business Co-operation Committee; and
• The GBA Logistics & Supply Chain Innovation Alliance.
In its 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 has a bearing on Hong Kong’s logistics industry.
Furthermore, the Council participates in many prominent government-run engagements, ensuring that the requirements of Hong Kong’s shippers are adequately fulfilled.
The Council has participated in discussions on:
• Air Cargo Capacity Shortage;
• Air Cargo Fuel Surcharge;
• Air Cargo Security;
• Belt & Road initiatives;
• Competition Issues;
• Control of Cannabidiol (CBD) under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance;
• Enhancing Hong Kong’s Status as an International Maritime Centre and International Aviation Hub;
• Green Logistics;
• The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area;
• Logistics 4.0 & its Implementation in Hong Kong;
• Minimum Wage Consultation;
• Modern Logistics Development;
• The Smart Port Project;
• Shipping Surcharges;
• Terminal Handling Charges (THCs);
• The Trade Single Window;
• 2022/23 Policy Address Consultation; and
• 2022/23 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. “Voice of the Industry” Exercise – Listening to Stakeholders
In the latter half of 2022, the Council conducted a “Voice of the Industry” exercise. We visited different organisations and institutions in order to ascertain their specific needs and expectations. We re-examined the functions of the Council, concluding its core values to be : (a) protecting and promoting shippers’ interests, (b) promoting professionalism and knowledge, (c) helping build a better business environment, (d) developing human talent, (e) advancing health and safety, (f) fostering local, regional and global partnerships, and (g) promulgating news and messages throughout the shipping industry.
The Council secretariat had solicited inputs from most members. The comments obtained are crucial in helping the Council design activities to best attain these objectives.
5. International Cooperation
By participating in 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 for fairer rates or greener credentials.
24 February 2022 : Global Shipping Alliance (GSA) Meeting 2022, Webinar on Global Maritime Crisis – Shippers’ Perspectives (Zoom)
The Global Shipping Alliance (GSA) held a webinar on the global maritime crisis. The Council Chairman and Executive Director joined the discussion.
10-12 October 2022 : Global Shippers’ Alliance (GSA) and Asian Shippers’ Alliance (ASA) Annual General Meeting
The Global Shippers’ Alliance (GSA) Annual General Meeting and Asian Shippers’ Alliance (ASA) Annual General Meeting was hosted by the Thai National Shippers’ Council, in Bangkok.
The meeting was attended by the Indonesian National Shippers’ Council (INSC), the Shippers’ Council of Bangladesh (SCB), the Hong Kong Shippers’ Council (HKSC), the Macau Shipper’s Association (MSA), the Malaysian National Shippers’ Council (MNSC), the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council (SLSC), and the Thai National Shippers’ Council (TNSC).
The meeting discussed issues of mutual concern, including shipping crisis, supply and demand, etc. A joint statement was signed.
An agreement was reached at the Asian Shippers’ Alliance meeting to construct a freight cost portal to gather and present actual logistics costs of different Asian economies.
6. 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.
22 February 2022 : Webinar on “Indonesia – Market Update on E-commerce and Retailing
The Executive Director discussed Indonesia’s e-commerce, and the potential of GBA as a market and investment source.
18 March 2022 : Global Supply Chain Management Leadership Talk – Leading through Cooperation “What Causes the Supply Chain Crisis and When will it Come to an End?
The Executive Director was invited to give a presentation to HK’s Hang Seng University on “Threats and opportunities to the global supply chain brought about by COVID-19”.
8 April 2022 : Presentation to Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI) seminar on “Cross Boundary Goods Transport”
The Chairman and Executive Director were invited to present on “Cross Boundary Goods Transport”.
28 April 2022 : Rethinking Global Supply Chains – Navigating Complex Challenges in 2022 and Beyond
The Executive Director participated in this event as a panel speaker. A total of 115 participants attended the live session.
18 May 2022 : The International Forum on Shipping, Ports and Airports (IFSPA) 2022
The Executive Director moderated the Smart Port segment of the industry session. The session looked into development of Smart Ports in Hong Kong as well as in the region. The framework for Smart Port development was also discussed.
26 May 2022 : Meeting on “The Latest Development on Cross Boundary Goods Transport between Hong Kong and the Mainland”
The Chairman and Executive Director presented the latest boundary crossing land transportation developments to the Household and Furniture Council, and the Electric Goods Council of Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI). Many members of these two councils are manufacturers and they had been troubled by chaotic boundary crossing trucking operations. Opportunities to share experiences and discuss improvements were made after the presentation. The session attracted 80 people.
28 May 2022 : EAST 2022 Forum on East Asia Supply Chain & International Trade
This was a one-day international conference organised by Zhejiang University. The Executive Director gave an account of “Changes in Global Supply Chains in the Post COVID-19 Era”. The other speakers were mostly professors from universities in Mainland China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. The conference attracted 200 people from an audience spanning 5 countries.
15 July 2022 : Smart Mobility Award of the Hong Kong ICT (HKICT) Awards 2022
Sunny Ho acted as the Chief Assessor of the Smart Logistics Award of the Hong Kong ICT Awards Competition 2022.
15 July 2022 : Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Greater Bay Area (GBA) and Hong Kong – What it means for Philippines Logistics Companies
The Executive Director was invited to be a panelist.
26 August 2022 : HKMPB & Invest HK Webinar “25 Years – Review and Projection – Hong Kong the International Maritime Centre”
The Council Chairman acted as a speaker on the panel “From the perspective of shippers, logistics and transportation operators, local vessels and river trade vessels operators”, and moderated a panel entitled “Nurturing Talents in the Hong Kong Maritime Industry”.
9 September 2022 : Presentation to Global Operations & Logistics Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
The Executive Director shared his insights on “Post-Pandemic Supply Chain and Operations, the Next Normal” to 80 Global Operations & Logistics Management students at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
October 2022 : Article for Hong Kong Watches 2022, issue 42 – published by the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association
In response to a request by the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association, the Council contributed an article delineating digital trends in the global supply trend, emphasising the importance of Logistics 4.0 to shippers.
October 2022 : Interview by the Hong Kong Metals Manufacturers Association Bimonthly Bulletin 《金屬會訊》 (issue 140)
The Chairman was invited by the Hong Kong Metals Manufacturers Association Bimonthly Bulletin magazine (issue 140), to share the Council’s views. He voiced concerns over the current trade situation and supply chain disruptions in his article.
13-14 October 2022 : 15th Prime Source Forum (PSF) Zoom Meeting, Germany
The Council Chairman and Executive Director spoke at this international forum via video conference.
15 November 2022 : 2nd “World Maritime Merchants Forum” (WMMF)
China Merchants Group, together with BIMCO, ICS and HKSOA, organised the 2nd World Maritime Merchants Forum. The Chairman and Executive Director attended the forum.
16 November 2022 : “Digital and Intelligent Transformation in Ports and Shipping Industry Forum”
This high-level forum was organised by the China Merchants Port Group. The Executive Director presented at the forum and joined the discussion panel afterwards.
17 November 2022 : 15th Prime Source Forum Reception, Hong Kong
The Executive Director was a member of the discussion panel.
24 November 2022 : HKMPB – Get Together of HKMW
The Chairman presented at this joint seminar which was organised by the Council, HKSTLA and GS1, as part of the Hong Kong Maritime Week activities.
28-29 November 2022 : 15th Prime Source Forum, Germany
The Chairman and Executive Director were invited to attend and speak at different sessions of the Prime Source Forum via video conference.
28 November 2022 : LOGTECH Expo 2022
The Chairman delivered the opening speech, and the Executive Director presented on “Hong Kong Manufacturing Enterprise and the Future of Logistics”.
29 November 2022 : Hong Kong Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Programme 10th Anniversary Celebration
Mr. Willy Lin and Mr. Sunny Ho attended the celebration.
3 Dec 2022 : Presentation to Seminar on “Logistics and Transport” organised by HKFTU Logistics and Transport Industry Committee and University of Wollongong (UOW) College Hong Kong
A presentation on the “New Normal in the Post-COVID era” was made by the Executive Director.
29 Dec 2022 : 港珠物流合作線上交流視頻會議方案
The Executive Director spoke at the online meeting.
7. 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’ requirements, 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 along 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 covers the basics of shipping and logistics operations. This also allows them to build a path of academic progression for practitioners, and go on 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.
International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code Training Programme
In lieu of the growing demand for learning how to properly handle dangerous goods (DG), the Council hosted the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG) Training Programme. This was intended to raise awareness on proper safety in cargo transport, and update shippers on the most recent revisions to DG regulations.
The IMDG training courses, which were exclusive classes for the Fire Services Department, were held on the following dates :
• 7 - 8 March 2022
• 11 - 12 October 2022
11 April 2022 : 香港中小企「物流 4.0」升級路線及策略分享講座
This webinar was co-organised by the Hong Kong Shippers’ Council and the Hong Kong Productivity Council, entitled 香港中小企「物流 4.0」升級路線及策略分享講座. This aimed to promote the implementation of Logistics 4.0 in the Hong Kong logistics industry. Experts on Logistics 4.0 shared their insights about the logistics industry and briefed participants about funding projects. This was followed by a Q&A session. Over 150 people registered for the webinar. Feedback was positive.
17 June 2022 : 香港付貨人委員會 x 平安壹賬通銀行 x 貿易通 「環球經濟及供應鏈危機下拓展業務新方程式」
The Council partnered with PAO Bank and Tradelink to conduct a half-day seminar entitled 「環球經濟及供應鏈危機下拓展業務新方程式」. 70 people attended. The Council invited experts in the industry to analyze the global economic situation, discuss how to enhance flexibility in business operations, and grasp business opportunities – as well as strategies for improving cash flow – in the post-COVID era.
23 September 2022 : Workshop for “Cross-Boundary Road Transport on Operation, Clearance, Liability, Taxation and Freight Payment Collection”
The Council organised a one-day workshop on Cross-Boundary Road Transport. The objective of the workshop was to help participants grasp a general understanding of cross-boundary road transport. The workshop was very practical in nature covering all aspects, from operations, customs declaration/clearance, legal, liability, taxation, and invoicing issues. 26 people enrolled.
11 November 2022 : Free Webinar “DG Awareness with a Focus on CBTA”
In view of recent changes in the requirements of shipping dangerous goods (DG) – including lithium batteries – by air, and the impending Competency-based Approach to Dangerous Goods Training and Assessment (CBTA) (effective from 1 January 2023), the Council co-organised this webinar with Carrier Liaison Group (CLG), the Hongkong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics (HAFFA), and the Transport and Logistics Training Board’s Vocational Training Council (VTC). The webinar aimed at providing updates on the latest DG requirements in Hong Kong and raising awareness of the industry, thereby enhancing safety in air cargo transport.
Representatives from the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) and CLG provided attendees with an overview of 2023 requirements for shipping DG – including lithium batteries – by air, and the impending CBTA. The subject webinar was successfully held on 11 November 2022, with 385 attendees in total.
23 November 2022 : Asian Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Conference – SCM & Logistics Forum “Smart and Agile Supply Chains through Innovations”
Similar to past years, the Council organised a joint session with HKTDC at the Supply Chain Management & Logistics Forum of the ALMAC 2022.
This year’s core theme was “Smart and Agile Supply Chains through Innovations”. Technology is expected to bring forth disruptive changes in global supply chains. The Council’s session looked into technological trends and their impacts, the Hong Kong situation and its future course, and also discussed real cases in the industry. It helped users, operators and service providers to understand the changes, and to plan for the future.
The Council invited an array of speakers from different backgrounds and disciplines to join the panel discussion. The Council Chairman delivered the welcome speech, and the Executive Director moderated the discussion. Turn-out rate was high, with around 14,000 online attendees in total, and 108 physical participants.
24 November 2022 : Hong Kong Maritime Week 2022 “Navigation Towards Smarter Port and Logistics”
Along with the Hong Kong Sea Transport and Logistics Association, and GS1, the Council held this joint seminar at Hong Kong Maritime Week 2022. The topic was “Navigation Towards Smarter Ports and Logistics”. Over 80 people flocked to this seminar.
8. Promulgating News and Messages to Shippers and the Industry
As well as continuously updating its official website, the Council also sends regular updates to its members. In this way, our members are made aware of vital changes as they occur in our increasingly mercurial industry.
The Council issues Shipping Alerts warning shippers of the appropriate actions to take in order to cope with shipping crises, such as high and volatile freight charges; operations disruptions in Hong Kong, Chinese ports, and other areas; and any 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 regularly featured in-depth articles and reports on the latest developments in the logistics, maritime, and aviation industries.
As of 2021, Shippers Today began to be published quarterly, instead of bimonthly. It was also – and back issues remain – available online at HKTDC Research. The Jan – Mar 2023 issue of Shippers Today was the final issue. Shippers Today was designed to provide industry information to shippers and connect stakeholders along the supply chain. These functions are, nowadays, served better by more timely media formats.
Accordingly, going forward, the Council will be publishing monthly newsletters to ensure information and messages are released in a more vital and speedy manner. New communication means, such as news hubs/portals, are being developed. The Council intends to remain in close contact with all industry stakeholders.