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HK Container Terminal Operators Association moves on digitisation


THE HONG KONG Container Terminal Operations Association (HKCTOA) has issued a statement stressing the importance of digitisation and the need of continuous support from Hong Kong Government in the future development of the Port of Hong Kong.

HKCTOA also stressed the importance of enhancing the competitiveness of the Port of Hong Kong among industry stakeholders at a luncheon officiated by Frank Chan Fan, Hong Kong Secretary for Transport and Housing.

A plan to fully implement Electronic Release Order (eRO) for import containers was launched in January as one of the key steps on HKCTOA's digitisation roadmap.

The eRO system enables consignee to prepare electronic Letter of Indemnity (eLOI), receive eRO and forward the eRO to the trucker via the same platform.

The trucker can then present the eRO QR code at the container terminals and collect the container.

HKCTOA also took the opportunity to show Mr Chan around different features of the Kwai Tsing Container Terminals (KTCT) after the luncheon.

Said HKCTOA chairwoman Jessie Chung: "Digitisation is the key to the future growth of the shipping and logistics industry, and HKCTOA spares no efforts in promoting this important aspect of the port industry.

"In addition, the industry has been facing a number of challenges in recent years. While container terminal operators have been working hard to maintain the competitiveness of the Hong Kong Port, we seek the continuous support from the HKSAR Government in taking the necessary steps to facilitate the future development of the port," she said

This is important to maintain Hong Kong's position as an international shipping centre and transshipment hub.

Said Mr Chan: "To survive the test of time, we have to constantly equip ourselves to move ahead and stay competitive. One of the key developments besetting the container shipping industry is the use of digitisation and automation, but also improved the working environment and occupational safety."

"Major ports in the world are now becoming automated and Hong Kong is no exception," he said.

Under the eRO project, members of HKCTOA plan to fully implement eRO for import containers before December 2019 and phase out the paper handling process by 2020, said Mr Chan.

More than 1,000 containers have been released by eRO securely from the trial since October 2016. The process can be shortened from three days to one day. As a result, the industry can get rid of the current paper-heavy process and achieve enhanced efficiency with proven security features, said the HKCTOA statement.

Members of HKCTOA have engaged OnePort to jointly collect industry views and requirements for eRO implementation.

To minimise the industry's efforts in developing individual eRO systems, OnePort has enhanced its platform to provide fast, convenient and secured online exchange of import documents and instructions for paperless release of laden containers at container terminals.

Members of HKCTOA include Asia Container Terminals Limited, Cosco-HIT Terminals (Hong Kong) Limited, Goodman DP World, Hongkong International Terminals Limited, and Modern Terminals Limited.

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