HACTL Sets New Standards Yet Again
Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (HACTL) is the largest air cargo terminal operator based in Hong Kong International Airport. It offers its services to more than 1,000 freight forwarders and over 90 airlines worldwide. Moreover, HACTL’s subsidiary, Hong Kong Air Cargo Industry Services Limited (HACIS), serves more than 200 airlines and freight forwarders with its extensive array of integrated logistics solutions. HACIS’ road feeder services transport cargo between Hong Kong International Airport and destinations all over the Pearl River Delta region. The service accentuates HACTL’s individuality as it does not merely confine itself to cargo handling. HACTL’s unconventional approach has been immensely rewarded. The company’s professionalism has made it one of the most successful cargo handlers in the world.
In this issue, AFL had the privilege of discussing HACTL’s objectives with Ms. Vivien Lau, who concurrently serves as Executive Director of HACTL since 2014 and as Managing Director of HACIS since 2012. AFL had the pleasure of meeting her in early September at an Air Cargo Handling Event Conference held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. Gentle and soft spoken, but possessing formidable knowledge and passion about the air cargo industry, Ms. Lau kindly agreed to sit down for an interview for which she shared with AFL her insights and objectives on HACTL and reflect upon the successes enjoyed by this world class company.
Ms. Lau oversees HACTL’s commercial strategy along with HACIS’ development. Essentially, she wields enormous influence in both companies. Her vital role is to therefore integrate the two companies’ developmental plans in a synergized manner. Ms. Lau’s high profile position allows her to oversee the companies’ development from their traditional models towards a more streamlined provider of multiple logistics services. This exclusive feature will discuss the integral role she plays as well as delving into the nature and objectives of both HACIS and HACTL over which she presides.
Presently, HACTL provides state-of-the-art facilities and services for air cargo handling. We also have tremendous experience handling temperature sensitive and radioactive cargo.
“More so HACTL offers cargo buildup and break down services. Perishables, live animals, and delivering express items are also well taken care of.” Ms. Lau said.
Shedding its traditional image of a full-fledged cargo handler, HACTL has broken out of its comfort zone to provide outstanding individualized customer service. When questioned in regards to HACTL’s prime motivations for discarding its image as a traditional cargo handler, Ms. Vivien Lau said that “HACTL is currently witnessing rapid developments around the world. With this, we strive to meet additional demands and requests from our customers. Our main objective is to demonstrate that we possess the capability to modernize along with the times as opposed to merely sticking with the old model. Hence, we aspire to reach out to new ideas and concepts with the intention of implementing them, always in accordance with the appropriate standards and regulations.”
HACTL facilitates maximum efficiency, therefore compressing the cargo handling process. Ms. Lau remarked: “HACTL’s massive and ongoing investment in IT, centered on its world-beating COSAC-Plus management system, ensures efficient operations and maximum visibility for our supply chain partners. The high degree of automation in all our cargo handling operations results in a terminal which has regularly handled over 10,000 tonnes of cargo in a single day.
Looking at the areas where Hacis takes over, its use of special fast-track Customs border processes means fast transit times that have trimmed up to three hours from delivery times into China.
HACIS employs its expertise to handle a wide variety of freight types and deliver them via extensive network coverage to Mainland China. Ms. Lau added: “Our trucks serve as a link between Chinese cities and Hong Kong Airport. Cargo is carried on road feeder trucks which deliver to Southern Chinese cities such as: Guangzhou, Xiamen, and Shenzhen in a timely manner. HACIS’ trucks travel daily between Hong Kong airport and key points in China.”
Our uniqueness is that we position ourselves to specifically cater to the individual needs of our broad clientele. Essentially, we have branched out from what a cargo handler normally engages in, and this has never been done before.
HACTL does not stop short of providing the highest quality service to its customers. Ms. Lau elaborated: “We utilize our warehouse management systems and cargo handling facilities to achieve the highest degree of efficiency. Our Customs clearance and documentation procedures are designed to facilitate a speedy process, and alleviate minor hassles and potential long waits along the way.”
Ms. Lau continued: “We refuse to be categorized as mere road feeders; HACIS offers an individualized service which broadly includes import and export cargo on-airport support services. We understand the pressures placed by time constraints; HACIS manages all of the Chinese cross border documents for our clients’ convenience and maintains close communication with China Customs to smooth over difficulties that may arise with cross border cargo.”
HACIS has offices and hubs in Southern China and is one of the few companies to have successfully penetrated the Chinese market to this degree. Ms. Lau proclaimed: “We strive to be the go-to road feeder for international freight forwarders, who can now transport cargo to China efficiently. We continue to position Hong Kong as the global hub or “gateway” for trading and business dealings in mainland China.
Fresh Opportunities Ahead
HACIS continues to pursue the development of cutting-edge tracking systems to provide customers with visibility over the location and condition of their cargo. Pharmaceuticals are a prime candidate for such facilities. “We are using Electronic Data Interchange System (EDI) to enhance our procedures and communications with our clients. Customers desire certainty and we will absolutely provide them with that.”
HACTL also looks to further expand into the Chinese e-commerce market. Ms. Lau observed: “Due to China’s huge population, there is a high demand for big name goods from trusted overseas sources. Various companies are scrambling to respond to this new phenomenon. We have ambitious plans for e-commerce and we look to develop a more integrated and diverse approach to serve forwarders which are involved in this market.
Leveraging Hong Kong’s geographical advantage, and its standing as the largest air cargo hub in the world, HACIS provides airlines and freight forwarders with a unique logistics solutions which slash cargo processing and transit times.
Ms. Lau further commented that: “Nowadays, Airlines and global freight forwarders are looking to minimize the number of touch points, and that is where HACTL factors in.”
We do not just handle their cargo on arrival in Hong Kong, we have an integrated operation that provides reach into mainland China, both for exports and imports
“This way, we eliminate potential difficulties that arise with passing through numerous parties. Our purpose is to simplify the supply chain and procedures, to improve speed and efficiency, and eradicate sources of problems.”
HACTL has a proud history of innovation and investment, which has kept it at the forefront of cargo handling in Hong Kong and globally throughout its 38 year history. In a changing world, it’s no surprise that HACTL and HACIS continue to evolve, to innovate and to exploit every new opportunity.