Hong Kong is strategically located on the Far East trade routes and is in the geographical centre of the now fast-developing Asia-Pacific Basin. In terms of tonnage of shipping using its facilities, cargo handled and the number of passengers carried, Hong Kong is one of the major ports of the world.
Hong Kong is a modern, well-equipped deep-water port serving two main types of maritime transport: ocean-going vessels from all parts of the world and river-trade vessels from the Pearl River. In 2016, the port of Hong Kong handled 19.8 million TEUs, making it one of the world’s busiest container ports. A daily average of around 75 ocean-going vessels and 430 river-trade vessels arrived at the port.
Hong Kong is, and always has been, a free port, where ship owning and ship management are major activities. The trade policy of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region seeks a free, open and multilateral trading system. The Hong Kong Shipping Register was set up in 1990. The registered gross tonnage of ships was 108 millions as at end 2016 and the Hong Kong Shipping Register ranked fourth in the World Fleet ranking.
Port facilities in Hong Kong include about 7 700 metres of deep-water frontage at Kwai Tsing Container Terminals; six public cargo working areas with a total berth length of 4 852 metres; and 16 mooring buoys for ocean-going vessels. The three Marine Ferry Terminals under the Marine Department and the SkyPier under the Airport Authority provide cross-boundary ferry services to Macao and Mainland ports. The port dues are among the lowest in the world.
Hong Kong does not have a port authority and the Marine Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the port.