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Hong Kong container terminal operators form alliance to boost services
HONGKONG International Terminals Limited, Modern Terminals Limited, Cosco-HIT Terminals (Hong Kong) Limited, and Asia Container Terminals Limited have jointly announced the formation of the Hong Kong Seaport Alliance (The Seaport Alliance).

The joint operating agreement has been designed to deliver more efficient service offerings to carriers that call Hong Kong, while enhancing the overall competitiveness of the Port of Hong Kong across the region.

The Seaport Alliance will offer a total of 23 berths and the planning for which is conducted by an Operations Coordination Team using a common terminal operating system.

Managing director of Hongkong International Terminals Limited, Gerry Lim, said: "The formation of the Seaport Alliance will further enhance efficiencies, increase utilisation and improve our overall service offering to customers.

"The Seaport Alliance will ensure that the Port of Hong Kong remains a valuable contributor to our economy, both as an employer and as a facilitator of global trade."

The collaboration is in direct response to a rapidly changing business environment, including the formation of new carrier alliances, carrier industry consolidation, and the dramatic increase in vessel size over the last few years.

Group managing director of Modern Terminals Limited, Peter Levesque, said: "The Seaport Alliance will improve the value proposition of Hong Kong to customers, while reducing emissions and enabling Hong Kong to more effectively compete within the region.

"For almost two centuries Hong Kong has played a vital role in the facilitation of global trade. The Seaport Alliance, and the application of new technologies, will enable Hong Kong to thrive as an international shipping hub for decades to come."

The port and logistics sector accounts for 3.2 per cent of the GDP of Hong Kong, and provides more than 174,000 industry related jobs.

"The maritime and port industry is a major part of trading and logistics which is one of the four economic pillars of Hong Kong. We will work together to enhance the position of Hong Kong as an international shipping centre," said Lawrence Shum, managing director of Cosco-HIT Terminals (Hong Kong) Limited.

"By achieving additional efficiencies through optimised use of terminal assets, the Port of Hong Kong will continue to be a reliable transshipment hub in the region and a key gateway to China," said Hanliang Zhu, managing director of Asia Container Terminals Limited.

The four companies plan to commence the joint operations of the Seaport Alliance progressively within 2019, reports New York's Maritime Logistics Professional.

Search continues for 2 missing seamen after oil tanker explosion in Hong Kong

FIREMEN in Hong Kong are continuing their search for two missing crew members following an explosion on board an oil tanker in Hong Kong in which one person died and four other injured.

Twenty-two crewmembers were rescued after they jumped into the sea as fire engulfed the ship and black smoke billowed into the sky.

The Aulac Fortune, registered in Vietnam, was travelling from Dongguang in China to Thailand when it stopped in Hong Kong waters for refuelling.

The explosion happened when the Vietnamese oil and chemical tanker was preparing for an oil refill from a local barge anchored next to it. It caught fire following explosions as the crewmembers were connecting pipes and preparing to refuel near Lamma Island.

There have been no reports on any oil spills, but the 17,000-tonne, 144-metre-long tanker, is listing 30 degrees.