Hong Kong port

Hong Kong Port (Source: Lloyd's List Intelligence)


From being the world's busiest container port in the late 1990s, Hong Kong fell to 10th place in 2023, handling 14.4 million TEUs, and this decline looks set to continue.

Sea-Intelligence analysts note that the service network overview from the Gemini Collaboration between Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd starting in February 2025 does not include a direct call to a deep-sea port in Hong Kong. The new alliance is focusing on key transshipment hubs where the two carriers have operating interests in ports, something they do not have in Hong Kong.

The Ocean Alliance's updated 2024 service network shows the number of direct port calls in Hong Kong has dropped to just six from 11 previously. The Alliance's 2025 trans-Pacific network sees Hong Kong served by a single Asia-US East Coast service with plans to call, from the Pacific Northwest and Southwest service dropped.

The decline in Hong Kong's dominance as a container port over the past two decades has been characterized by the rise of mainland Chinese ports that now hold six of the top 10 positions globally.


  Container shipping lines reduce calls at Hong Kong port (Source: Sea Intelligence)


However, Sea Intelligence now sees another factor that could affect other transshipment ports. “While this does not bode well for the Port of Hong Kong, it should also be seen as a sign that an element of network consolidation is afoot, especially as it relates to transhipment hubs. Analysis of network design and network efficiency will show that fewer, but larger, hubs are economically more efficient," said Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea Intelligence.

“Hong Kong appears to be the first major ‘victim’ of this. But as the new alliance constellations improve their networks in the coming years, it is likely that more ports could risk the same fate as Hong Kong.”


Source: Phaata.com (According to Sea Intelligence) 

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