From Hong Kong to the World

With supply chain disruptions and increased demand for diversification of sources and routes from businesses worldwide, here's how two companies are navigating the changing landscape.

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From Hong Kong to the world

Strong fundamentals and a commitment to planning and innovation are helping Hong Kong maintain its status as a global logistics hub.

Throughout the millennia, Hong Kong has established its suitability as a fulcrum for trade, a quality that underpins the city’s future development into an international trading center.

These days, a combination of factors ensures that the city continues to evolve as a modern premier logistics and maritime hub. 

“Hong Kong has the geo-strategic location to add value throughout the supply chain,” says John Lau, founder and chairman of CN Logistics, a leading logistics solutions provider specializing in high-end fashion and wine.

Geopolitical tensions, global supply chain disruption and a global pandemic have presented numerous challenges to the logistics industry worldwide. But Lau takes pride in his ability to pivot — a trait he has displayed throughout his career at the pinnacle of Hong Kong’s logistics industry. 

CN Logistics, established in 1991, was a pioneer in quality merchandise logistics. As the appetite for haute couture grew among consumers in Mainland China and other parts of East Asia, CN Logistics partnered with high-end French and Italian fashion houses to cater to the region’s unique distribution needs. The firm’s reputation for quality merchandise logistics spread, and soon it added fine wines to its specialization. Today, CN Logistics handles more than 30 percent of Hong Kong’s fine wine imports.

Lau believes technology will be a great enabler in securing the future of logistics. Just as he foresaw tech’s importance when CN Logistics was founded, innovation continues to be at the foundation of the firm’s evolution. Its new B2C platform, CNShip4Shop, allows consumers in Asia to access niche foreign brands in Europe, North America and Australia. The company is also working on a new tech ecosystem for logistics in partnership with leading innovators in retail technologies.

There’s no logic to standing still. Technology is the way forward for our industry. That’s why we invest a substantial proportion of our annual revenue on developing logistics technology such as visibility solutions, proprietary freight operating and warehouse management systems.

As established businesses like CN Logistics evolve, startups such as Spaceship are starting to shake up the sector. Founded in 2019 by entrepreneurs Wun Chi Lam and Stanley Wong, Spaceship provides accessible logistics solutions on a single, easy-to-use platform.

Spaceship’s chief aim, as it disrupts the logistics sector, is to simplify the process for consumers and make international shipments more accessible to the public. The pair developed the platform — the first international courier service booking and logistics SaaS platform in Hong Kong — after identifying the pain points of small business operators with big express couriers.

Spaceship continues to go from strength to strength, extending its operations to Taiwan and Southeast Asia, with Singapore upcoming. It has raised over $6 million from investors and launched Spaceship Pro for businesses requiring expedited bulk shipment processing and consolidated shipments. Its eyes are set on the global logistics software market, forecast to reach $35.65 billion by 2026.

What will we see next in Hong Kong’s progress as a competitive hub?

Major infrastructure advances are in the pipeline, including construction of 3RS (Three-runway System) and redevelopment of the Air Mail Centre at Hong Kong International Airport.

A recent MOU signing between the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) and Zhuhai Airport will boost international cargo trade in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Other initiatives to benefit Hong Kong's logistics sector include a pilot subsidy scheme to enhance productivity through technology application.

Hong Kong's long-term vision for its logistics industry is welcomed by key firms such as CN Logistics, which is currently broadening its scope in B2C businesses, starting with wines and affordable luxuries. “Such infrastructural planning will enhance Hong Kong's status as a gateway and allow it to retain its cutting edge,” adds John Lau.

Our initial vision was to make logistics easy for everyone, not just big companies who were used to processing massive orders. We were fortunate that the model successfully passed the test during the pandemic when many clients and small businesses needed logistics support to maintain business for international markets.

Wun Chi Lam is heartened by Hong Kong's will to innovate and take in new ideas; Spaceship was nurtured through the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) incubation program. And Lam believes Hong Kong's ability to foster talent while prioritizing tech development will ensure it continues to prosper.

“Hong Kong is proving its commitment to bold entrepreneurship by prioritizing its startup ecosystem via incubation programs and resources. Through subsidies and support, Hong Kong is facilitating the transformation of the logistics industry in line with the boom in e-commerce and the use of tools such as AI,” he says.

“This spirit of innovation will ensure it remains a global logistics hub.”

Brand Hong Kong

With its unparalleled appetite for entrepreneurialism, Hong Kong's business climate continues to thrive, priming this world city for a bright future.

This page was paid for by Brand Hong Kong. The editorial staff of CNBC had no role in the creation of this page.