Hong Kong is being rapidly deselected from the East-West trades by all major shipping lines.

In the network overview provided by Gemini, the alliance between Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd that goes operational in 2025, there are no direct deep-sea calls in Hong Kong, says the latest update from Sea-Intelligence.

"For Ocean Alliance’s updated 2024 network, direct port calls in Hong Kong will decline from 11 to just six. 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."

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, the update added. "This is shown in Figure 1. Liner connectivity for Hong Kong dropped to its lowest point of 388 in Q42023, only increasing marginally to 390 in Q12024. 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 relating to transhipment hubs, the update added. "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. 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."

Hong Kong is one of the busiest and most efficient international container ports in the world, and handled over 14.4 million TEUs of containers in 2023. The port provided over 300 international container liner services per week connecting to nearly 500 destinations worldwide.

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