Magazine article Business Asia

Alliances Can Lift Efficiency

Magazine article Business Asia

Alliances Can Lift Efficiency

Article excerpt

Rival port operators in the Asia-Pacific region can improve productivity by cooperating with their competitors, according to Hong Kong Port and Maritime Board chairman Mr Peter Thompson.

Although competition within the industry was inevitable, Mr Thompson said internal and external cooperation was essential.

"... Cooperation is the best way forward," he said.

As Hong Kong's port is privately owned and operated, Mr Thompson said internal competition drove operators to improve efficiency and quality of service.

Internal competition was also a way to cope with constantly changing cargo and shipping patterns, he said.

"It is through the promotion of internal competition that Hong Kong succeeds in maintaining its competitive edge," Mr Thompson said.

However, such competition should not rule out cooperation, he said.

"Today, cooperation among rival container terminal operators in the same port is a trend," Mr Thompson said.

"With the restructuring of major shipping alliances, Hong Kong's terminal operators must cooperate more closely in future to serve these mega alliances. A single operator otherwise might have difficulty in servicing big alliances on a regular basis."

Mr Thompson said Hong Kong did not perceive external, or regional,

competition as a threat to container throughput growth.

"In the region, Singapore and Hong Kong have a friendly rivalry over the title of `the world's busiest container port', but that is as far as it goes," Mr Thompson said. …

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