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Sea-Intelligence – Press Release (April 2nd, 2024) - Major connectivity loss for the port of Hong Kong

One trend has become increasingly clear from the network overviews published by the alliances: Hong Kong is being rapidly deselected from the East-West trades by all major shipping lines. In the network overview provided by Gemini, there are no direct deep-sea calls in Hong Kong. For Ocean Alliance’s updated 2024 network, direct port calls in Hong Kong will decline from 11 to just 6. THE Alliance’s published their 2025 Transpacific network overview last week, and Hong Kong will be removed from their Pacific South West and Pacific North West services, and will only be served on a single Asia-US East Coast service.

Furthermore, the latest Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI) data from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) also shows a continuous decline in connectivity for Hong Kong, over the past decade. This is shown in Figure 1. Liner connectivity for Hong Kong dropped to its lowest point of 388 in 2023-Q4, only increasing marginally to 390 in 2024-Q1. Overall, however, the trend is a consistent sharp decline.

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. 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.

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All quotes can be attributed to: Alan Murphy, CEO, Sea-Intelligence

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