File photo, buses run on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, Oct 24, 2018. (LIANG XU / XINHUA)
The relaxed arrangement for Hong Kong’s cross-border truck drivers has achieved positive results since its implementation over three weeks ago, with transport efficiency enhanced and delivery costs reduced.
According to Shenzhen Customs, cross-boundary trucks now average 6,800 trips between Shenzhen and Hong Kong each day, 15 percent more than before restrictions were lifted.
Truck drivers no longer need to wait at the border. Cross-border road transport is again showing its advantages of high efficiency and convenience
The average time for completing a cross-boundary trip has been reduced to about 3.8 hours, which is 50 percent higher in efficiency compared with when Hong Kong truck drivers had to transfer cargo to mainland drivers after crossing the border — an arrangement that came into effect in March, customs said.
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This arrangement was scrapped on Dec 12 and replaced by a point-to-point arrangement, allowing Hong Kong truck drivers to drive directly to cargo sites on the mainland for loading and discharging.
“We immediately adjusted our transport plan and stepped up efforts to recover our transport capacity when we heard of the news from the customs,” a person surnamed Lin who works at logistics company Mbelog said.
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“Now, the whole transport process is smooth. Truck drivers no longer need to wait at the border. Cross-boundary road transport is again showing its advantages of high efficiency and convenience,” he said, adding that his company’s orders are gradually increasing.
Apart from road transport for freight, the long-awaited cross-boundary passenger travel arrangements are expected to resume soon, with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government currently working on the details. Chief Secretary for Administration Eric Chan Kwok-ki said earlier cross-boundary passenger travel could begin on Jan 8 at the earliest.