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Sector needs a bit of uplift
update on Friday, January 13, 2012

Hong Kong's logistics industry is in the doldrums, hurt by external factors such as the US economic downturn and the European debt crisis.

Given the close links between logistics and manufacturing, whenever an economic slowdown hurts demand, it's only a matter of time before the blues affecting the factories spread to shipping and distribution.

Unsurprisingly, jobs in the logistics industry have been severely slashed over the past couple of years.

The sector also faces keen competition from its Asian neighbours such as Singapore and Shanghai, which boast good port facilities.

We believe that logistics will not pick up significantly in the short run. The massive projects that are about to start, such as the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge, can no doubt help boost the economy because they can fuel construction as well as imports and exports - which can help spur the growth of the logistics industry. However, since these massive projects will take some time to complete, they are unlikely to help logistics rebound in the short term.

Many hope that the Hong Kong government - long criticised for poor planning when it comes to facilities - can help boost logistics through a more strategic approach.

The industry may also benefit by relying less on US and Europe, and turning its focus instead on Asia.

Alexa Chow, managing director, Centaline Human Resources Consultants Limited

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