Hong Kong’s SF Airlines are replacing trucks running between Hong Kong and Shenzen with dedicated air charter services. The new service which will operate 6x weekly is designed to circumvent issues at the Hong Kong border. Mainly carrying anti-epidemic aid and some high value commodities this alternative is not designed as a cheap fix.
Hong Kong border issues
As China continues to try to control COVID-19 measures continue to be maintained. Shenzen in particular has undergone a number of city-wide lockdowns. This makes the movement of cargo and goods a major hurdle. One which requires out of the box thinking. Operating a freighter operation on such a short transit at one time would have been unthinkable. Now it is an innovative solution to a very real problem. It does not just affect cargo, tourism and Hong Kong residents are heavily affected. Hong Kong news this week covered Paul Chan Mo-po’s thoughts on the border issue.
SF Airlines tranship beyond Hong Kong
SF Airlines are not just a China – Hong Kong carrier. They are part of the SF Express group. They reach much further with flights into both the USA and Europe. Whilst operating some cargo shipping services the development history of SF express highlights a rapid transformation. From it’s growth across China to it’s expansion into an airline. Now with a focus on B2B express sales. Moving outside of China into a global supplier.
Certainly with their own aircraft they have an advantage over others. If the pricing is correct then operating flights between Shenzen and Hong Kong could provide a march on other supply chain solutions. Shenzen is a major technological centre. With plenty of R&D facilities. Factories in the region produce a lot of electronics and with roadfreight difficult within China. This direct route out of a southern airport in China could be a boon.
One question would be will SF Express have enough cargo to fill these flights. Or will they look to sell some of this space to freight forwarders within the region. Opening a much needed space resource to South China forwarders rather than a closed shop development.