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Update on supplies from Mainland
     The Task Force of Supplies from the Mainland led by the Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) has been working closely with the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government to explore various means to stabilise the supply of goods from the Mainland to Hong Kong. In addition to road transport arrangements, transportation of goods by water and railway are already in service.
     A spokesperson for the THB said that the "Sea Express" water transportation service from the Mainland to Hong Kong has been fully launched and its capacity is rising to increase the supplies of fresh food, other daily necessities and manufacturing materials. The current supply of fresh food from the Mainland is stable.
     Currently, there are three water transportation routes between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, namely (1) from Shenzhen Yantian International Container Terminals to Hong Kong Kwai Tsing Container Terminals (KTCT); (2) from Shenzhen DaChan Bay Terminals to KTCT; and (3) from China Merchants Port (South China) Management Center (Shenzhen Mawan, Shekou and Chiwan Container Terminals) to Hong Kong River Trade Terminal and elsewhere. Together with the water transportation routes from other cities in Guangdong Province, including the routes from Guangzhou Lianhuashan Port, Zhongshan Huangpu Port and Zhuhai Doumen Port to Hong Kong Tuen Mun Chu Kong Pier, the water transport capacity amounts to tens of thousands of tonnes daily.
     The spokesperson said today (March 31) that Shenzhen transported around 4 200 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cross-boundary supplies by water yesterday (March 30), equivalent to about 31 900 tonnes of goods, of which around 20 TEUs (about 190 tonnes) were fresh food and around 4 180 TEUs (about 31 710 tonnes) were non-fresh food, according to information from the Mainland authorities.
     Since the launch of services from the three ports in Shenzhen since February 18 to yesterday, a total of around 85 420 TEUs of cross-boundary supplies have been transported, equivalent to about 633 000 tonnes of goods, of which around 1 050 TEUs (about 9 430 tonnes) were fresh food and around 84 370 TEUs (about 623 570 tonnes) were non-fresh food.
     As for rail cargo, mainly anti-epidemic supplies are being transported at the moment. Twelve TEUs with a total of 41 tonnes of goods were transported to Hong Kong yesterday. Since its launch on March 2 and up to yesterday, more than 1 350 tonnes of goods including anti-epidemic supplies such as COVID-19 rapid antigen test (RAT) kits and protective gowns were transported to Hong Kong.
     To further ensure a stable goods supply to Hong Kong through land transport, a trial run of cargo transfer was conducted by the THB at a yard situated on Kam Pok Road, San Tin, Yuen Long, and it was completed smoothly. The THB will continue to work with the Mainland authorities to fully take forward cargo transfer arrangements on the Hong Kong side. It is a contingency measure in response to the latest epidemic situation in the city so as to reduce the risk of epidemic transmission in both the Mainland and Hong Kong, ensuring both smooth cross-boundary land transport and a stable goods supply to Hong Kong.
     Meanwhile, to avoid a spillover of the epidemic, the Transport Department (TD) has arranged for dedicated staff to conduct RATs for cross-boundary goods vehicle drivers at various land boundary control points (BCPs) from February 28 onwards. Only drivers with a negative result are allowed to enter the Mainland. In order to further improve the accuracy of the tests, the TD has already replaced the RATs with rapid nucleic acid tests at the BCPs. A total of 1 677 rapid nucleic acid tests were conducted yesterday in which two drivers preliminarily tested positive. The TD has passed the cases to the Department of Health for follow-up.
     The THB will closely monitor the situation and co-operate with the Mainland authorities to facilitate and implement various measures to ensure a stable goods supply to Hong Kong, with a view to complementing the supply through road, water and railway transport, enhancing the capacity and efficiency as well as optimising the flow of cross-boundary supplies.
Ends/Thursday, March 31, 2022
Issued at HKT 18:35
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