Hong Kong is strategically located on the Far East trade routes and is in the geographical centre of the fast-developing Asia-Pacific Basin. In terms of tonnage of shipping using its facilities, port cargo and passenger throughput, 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 2017, the port of Hong Kong handled 20.8 million TEUs, making it one of the world’s busiest container ports. A daily average of around 73 ocean vessels and 435 river 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 114 millions as at end 2017 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 River Trade 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.