Indian Transport & Logistics

Cathay offers intermodal import operations to Dongguan from HK Airport

Cathay becomes first to offer commercial intermodal services via sea from Hong Kong to Dongguan

Cathay offers intermodal import operations to Dongguan from HK Airport
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Cathay Cargo Terminal, operated by Cathay Pacific Services (CPSL) has extended its Intermodal Cargo Handling services between Dongguan and Hong Kong to include northbound operations, importing from all over the world to the Greater Bay Area (GBA) via Hong Kong.

With this development, Cathay Cargo Terminal has become the first to offer commercial intermodal services via sea from Hong Kong to Dongguan. It will offer customers an alternative multimodal solution for import handling to the GBA. Urgent shipments can be towed from Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) airside to vessels to Dongguan (and beyond) and cargo can be shipped in airline Unit Load Devices (ULDs), further enhancing efficiency by eliminating the reconsolidation process.

In partnership with global shipping and logistics company, Dimerco Express Group, Cathay Cargo shipped its first commercial northbound shipment on 4 December 2023. “We will be working closely with the Airport Authority Hong Kong and customs to continuously streamline the process of both southbound and northbound operations, further strengthening Hong Kong as the leading air cargo logistics hub in the world,” Cathay Cargo Terminal announced on Linkedin.

In February 2023, Cathay Pacific Cargo and the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal became the first carrier and first cargo terminal operator to have cargo shipments accepted in Dongguan and transported to HKIA by ship for outbound air freight, enabling full upstream sea-air intermodal export cargo handling between the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and Hong Kong.

Earlier Cathay Cargo, in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), participated in a pilot scheme. The pilot project introduced ONE Record data protocols for intermodal shipments processed at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) Logistics Park in Dongguan within the GBA for export from Hong Kong. This represents a significant milestone as it is the first instance where IATA ONE Record data, including security status, is accessible for a sea-to-air shipment, and the cargo acceptance is recorded outside the original airport's cargo terminal. The scheme offers cost savings, improved efficiency and reliability as well as improved cut-off times for shipments from the GBA.

IATA's ONE Record initiative tracks their journey from the shipper to various points in the process, including the agent, airline, warehouse, and regulatory authorities such as customs. This is achieved through IATA's protocols for APIs, which are interfaces enabling secure data connections within the system.

The programme is accessible to Hong Kong freight forwarders classified as 'regulated agents' (RAs). To participate, these forwarders must gain approval from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) for their Supplementary Pages application to the Regulated Agent Security Programme (RASP). This extension expands the authority of RAs to cover upstream operations. At the HKIA Logistics Park in Dongguan, CAD-approved X-ray machines and Explosive Trace Detectors are in use. These machines are managed by AVSECO, the provider of aviation security services in Hong Kong. During the pilot scheme, Yusen Logistics, a forwarder, successfully transported air-cargo shipments to Bangkok, Manila, and Tokyo. The shipments were processed at the Cathay Cargo Terminal Dongguan and underwent security checks by AAHK at that location.

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