Honour Lane Shipping Ltd.
Shanghai, China Site Visit
December 23, 3013
Mr. Vincent Chan, President
Founded in 1997, Hong Kong-based Honour Lane Shipping Ltd. (HLS) has more than 800 employees. Besides its Hong Kong headquarters, HLS has an additional 20 branch offices in Hong Kong, 14 branch offices in China, and five branch offices located in Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
HLS is a key NVOCC (non vessel operating common carrier) player in the China-U.S. lane. Its annual ocean freight volume from China to U.S. is about 100,000 TEUs (20′ container/trailer equivalent units) and from Southeast Asia to the U.S. is about 30,000 TEUs. As a key NVOCC player, HLS contracts with all the major ocean carriers.
For air freight, HLS has a Class A license in China and can book space from airlines directly. However, air freight is not its focus. Its air freight volume ranges from a few hundred tons to around 1,000 tons annually. HLS provides competitive rates and high quality service to customers for ocean freight and meets its customers requirements for air freight.
The majority of its cargo volume is destined to the United States. Europe, Central and South America, and Australia are other destinations served.
HLS does not have its own offices in the U.S.; therefore, it uses agents. Currently, HLS has five agents in the U.S. which are located in the major cities of Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. According to President, Mr. Vincent Chan, HLS has solid relationships with its U.S. agents and is confident in developing more in the market.
Other than its key business of handling exports from China to U.S., HLS also handles some import business from the U.S. to China. Its import business has been growing steadily in the past few years.
HLS does not own trucks. It uses subcontractors for trucking business. It is also using a customs broker to provide customs clearance on all shipments. At the same time, HLS maintains good relationships with the port authorities and China customs.
HLS has its own IT team of 10 for systems research and development. It is developing a system to handle high level customer requirements. In Shanghai, it has its own warehouse, supported by the system, to provide buyer consolidation services and purchase order management to customers. A solid system is important in helping HLS become a leader in the market.
During the past four years, the economic crisis has seriously affected the ocean freight market. However, HLS continued to shine in the market and grow its annual ocean freight volume during the crisis – especially from China to U.S.
According to Mr. Chan, HLS is interested in further development but is cautious about overseas expansion. It is open to U.S. regional logistics providers for business cooperation. It is also interested in working with scaled logistics companies or investors for deep cooperation.
As a key NVOCC player in ocean exports from China to U.S. with steady growth in the past few years, we believe HLS will continue to be a leader in the market with more and more activity in China and Southeast Asia.