Jack Sin is happy that, after three years of Covid lockdown, he has finally been allowed to travel from Hong Kong to mainland China again since January 8, 2023. For the General Manager at a. hartrodt Hong Kong, the smooth truck transport is even more important, but he says it never came to a stop even during the pandemic: "The government lifted all the strict regulations a few months ago, so cross-border trucking is now back to normal." However, Daniela Gracia, Managing Director of a. hartrodt Hong Kong, asks customers to have "a bit of patience" with land transportation: "Truck companies need to adjust to the new demand and face some challenges, like rehiring drivers."
In 2022, one-fifth less cargo than in 2021
Under China's zero-Covid policy, cross-border transit of trucks was allowed only within closed circuits, with strict controls and mandatory PCR testing for drivers. Some quit their jobs in the face of shrinking capacity, quarantine and massive border congestion. "In 2022, we had one-fifth less cargo than in 2021," Jack Sin summarizes the difficult situation for cross-border trucking.
Hong Kong offers advantages for customers
Since the border has been opened, cargo can be transported much more easily between the South China mainland and Hong Kong. Jack Sin expects the number of trucks to "increase significantly" while costs will fall. a. hartrodt's team in Hong Kong works closely with colleagues in South China who manage hinterland transportation to and from the major seaports in Shenzhen and Guangzhou-Nansha. For customers, Hong Kong offers significant advantages, such as less port congestion than other ports and one of the main cargo airports with consummate coverage of international flights. "We also have a simpler customs system," adds Jack Sin.
Although the Chinese New Year vacation may slow down cross-border trucking somewhat, Daniela Gracia clarifies: "We'll find cost-effective solutions even at the beginning of the year." a. hartrodt Hong Kong is compromised to keep clients up to date on truck transit with the mainland.