During the year, Modern Terminals continued to improve its services, productivity and efficiencies. The company was selected as a winner of the prestigious Hong Kong Productivity Council Productivity Award for Services 1999.
At the end of 1998, Modern Terminals was committed to participating in the development of the Container Terminal 9 (CT9) project in Hong Kong. Of the six berths to be developed at CT9, Modern Terminals will occupy the four southern berths after swapping its two berths at Container Terminal 8 with Asia Container Terminals. The completion of this project would greatly enhance Modern Terminals' position as a leading terminal operator in Hong Kong. The main civil contract was issued for tender towards the end of 1999 and contract award is expected by May 2000.
Modern Terminals' interest and engagement in container terminal operations in Western Shenzhen, PRC had also been strengthened further with the acquisition of a 20 per cent stake in Keifeng Terminals in early 2000 through a joint venture with China Merchants International ( Modern Terminals holds 40 per cent in this joint venture).
As part of the efforts to affirm its preparedness to meet the challenges of the new millennium, the company launched a new company logo in early December 1999 to project the image of a modern, dynamic, innovative and flexible company as befits Modern Terminals.
Air Cargo Terminals
Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (HACTL) in which the Group holds a 12.5 per cent stake, recorded a throughput of 1.58 million tonnes in 1999, comparing favourably to 1.46 million tonnes in the previous year and representing a year-on-year growth of eight per cent. Apart from its cost rationalization programs, the company has been focusing on further enhancement of its service quality to its customers. HACTL continued to lead the Hong Kong air cargo industry with its premier facilities and outstanding services
30-year franchise of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel Company (CHT) expired on
August 31, 1999.
CHT also holds a 37 per cent stake in the Western Harbour Tunnel (WHT), a dual three-lane carriageway linking the West Kowloon Reclamation to the Western District on Hong Kong Island. This cross-harbour infrastructure has been under-utilised since opening in 1997 mainly because of the toll differences among the three cross-harbour tunnels as well as the capacity limitation on the approach roads leading to and from this tunnel. The daily throughput of this tunnel has improved as a result of the toll increase for private cars at the cross-harbour tunnel on September 1, 1999. The market share, however, has only slightly improved.
During the year under review, both the "Star" Ferry and Hongkong Tramways continued to provide excellent services to the public and remained popular with tourists. According to a local survey, "Star" Ferry was ranked No. 1 in ferry services and No. 3 in overall rating for the entire public transport industry in Hong Kong. "Star" Ferry service was also named in the "50 places of a lifetime" by the National Geographic Traveller in its special collector's issue in 1999.