Hong Kong set a record in its container throughput in 2006 by handling
23.5 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units of containers), maintaining its status as
the largest container port serving southern China and one of the busiest ports in the
Some 462 200 vessels arrived in and departed from Hong Kong during the year,
carrying 238 million tonnes of cargo and about 23 million passengers. Most of these
passengers commuted on a highly efficient fleet of high-speed ferries, including
jetfoils and jet catamarans, to and from Macao and ports on the Mainland, making
Hong Kong a port with one of the highest speed craft densities in the world.
Hong Kong is a modern, well equipped deep-water port serving two main types
of maritime transport — large ocean-going vessels from all parts of the world and the
smaller, coastal and river trade vessels from the Pearl River. Hong Kong is the focal
point of all maritime trading activities in the region. On an average day there are
around 110 ocean-going vessels working in the port; nearly 530 river trade vessels
entering or leaving the port; and many river ferries and local craft working in, or
passing through, the harbour. Ship turnaround performance is among the best in the
world: container ships at terminals are routinely turned around in less than 10 hours.
A series of measures to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong's port and
the maritime industry were implemented during the year. These included reduced
port fees and charges, provision of more service anchorages to increase mid-stream
cargo handling capacity, and a six-month annual tonnage fee reduction for Hong
Kong-registered vessels. Other enhancement measures, including the introduction of
a multiple entry permit for river trade vessels to streamline port formality procedures
and the reduction of the permit costs and licence fees of local vessels, will be
implemented in early 2007.