The Port of Hong Kong, which in Chinese means ‘Fragrant Harbour’, dates back to the early 19th century. Starting as a small fishing village, it grew rapidly as a port for British traders and became the major Chinese gateway for the west right up until the UK’s lease of the country expired in 1997.

Since that time, China has focused heavily on developing its mainland ports and while Hong Kong continued to remain as one of the world’s busiest ports, it has since fallen down the pecking order.

The Chinese ports of Shanghai, Ningbo, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Tianjin all handle more containers nowadays. In fact, Shanghai now handles around 3 times more container traffic than Hong Kong.

It’s status as one of the world’s biggest gateways could well end up a distant memory in the years and decades to come, after recently being excluded as a port of call from certain east-west alliance services.

THE Alliance (THEA) recently announced it’s planned transpacific network for 2025, in which Hong Kong has been removed from its Asia-US west coast services, and only retained on one of it’s Asia-US east coast services.

The port has been losing its place to local rivals Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Yantian, on individual schedules for some time, but not being included in THEA’s entire Asia to US West Coast schedule could be an indicator of things to come.

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