Heavy load weighs sector
Affected by the European debt crisis and the lingering impact of the 2007 financial tsunami, the logistics sector has suffered in recent years.
Figures released by the Census and Statistics Department show that in January 2012, the value of Hong Kong's total exports and imports of goods both fell markedly on an annual basis - by 8.6 per cent and 10.5 per cent, respectively. And, when the city's international trade is in the doldrums, logistics are directly influenced.
In fact, employment in the sector declined between 2007 and 2010. According to the Census and Statistics Department, figures stood at 205,200 in 2007, and then 194,800 in 2010.
But, because Hong Kong enjoys advantages such as its unique location, excellent port, independent judiciary and simple tax system, the situation is unlikely to remain gloomy. Industry players hope such factors will help to strengthen the status of the city as an international shipping centre.
Undoubtedly, though, Hong Kong's logistics industry is also facing increasing competition, particularly from south China. As the port facilities there develop rapidly, competition between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in sea transport will become keener.
Moreover, the mainland itself has also been actively developing its logistics infrastructure. And this, too, is posing a real threat to Hong Kong's logistics industry.