Compared to other industries, the freight and logistics sectors have only recently begun to incorporate new technologies into their operations. At a webinar on 29 June, IBM’s Karen Ko, Chris Leung and Jenny Zhang shared their insights on how companies can effectively leverage technologies like blockchain and the Internet of Things to promote information sharing and collaboration across the supply chains, thereby encouraging innovation to transform the industry for the better. They also said that the pandemic had highlighted the need for companies to adapt and modernize quickly to keep their operations running and better weather the crisis. Several characteristics of blockchain – enhanced privacy, greater transparency and the immutability of records – make it an advantageous technology for the freight and logistics industry.
Yoav Haimi, Israeli Trade Commissioner and Head of Economic and Commercial Mission to Hong Kong, met with the Shipping & Transport Committee’s Chairman Kenneth Bell and Vice Chairman Mark Slade, and Ronnie Leung, Vice Chairman of the Hongkong Association of Freight Forwarding & Logistics, during a courtesy call at the Chamber on 9 June.
During the meeting, the Commissioner learned about the current status of Hong Kong’s freight and logistics industries, and the outlook for the future, including the opportunities arising as a result of the acceleration of e-commerce and digitalization. They also discussed how to promote bilateral trade and investment ties between the two economies, particularly regarding Hong Kong’s role as a "super-connector" to the Greater Bay Area.
As logistics and supply chains increasingly become digitally driven, the main challenges to companies seeking to become Logistics 4.0 competent involve identifying what their needs are, and to then find appropriate solutions.
At a webinar on 27 May, Kelvin Ko, CEO of BPS Logistics Technology, shared industry use-cases and gave practical advice on how companies can use technology such as Autonomous Guided Vehicles, Autonomous Guided Forklifts and High Bay Robots to enhance their warehouse and supply chain operations. He said that supply chain automation allows employees to devote more attention to inventory management and quality inspection, thus making it possible for companies to make better use of their staff and improve logistics efficiency.
The International Maritime Organization has adopted an initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships, with the goal of eventually achieving zero emissions before the end of the century. In light of this, the shipping industry has started to search for viable options, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), to reduce greenhouse gas emission. While LNG is not a carbon-free fuel, it still has a major role to play as a transition option until other zero-carbon solutions become market-ready.
At a webinar on 16 March, Simon Ng, Director (Policy and Research) at the Business Environment Council, identified the benefits of LNG in maritime transport as well as the barriers to its use. He also discussed the developments and prospects for LNG in Hong Kong and beyond. Johnny Wang, Deputy Director, Innovation and Commercial Development at CLP Power Hong Kong, shared that CLP Power and HK Electric have been given the go-ahead to operate an offshore LNG terminal in Hong Kong, which presents a viable additional gas supply option through access to competitive gas supplies from world markets.
COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on the aviation industry with airlines forced to cancel most of their flights as a result of ongoing quarantines and other restrictive measures. The shipping industry is also suffering with significant disruption to supply chains worldwide. At a Chamber webinar on 18 January, George Edmunds, General Manager Cargo Commercial, Cathay Pacific Airways, and Angelina Lei, Customer Service Director of Hongkong International Terminals, shared their insights on the impact and implications of the coronavirus on global freight and logistics industry. The speakers also discussed the opportunities and challenges brought by shifting trade flows, cross-border e-commerce and digitalization. Lei provided an update on the Hong Kong Seaport Alliance – including its operating model, value proposition and strategies to reinforce Hong Kong's position as a key regional container port.