THE COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to air cargo but also an interesting array of responses, a conference has heard.

The Asian Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Conference would normally be held in Hong Kong however the pandemic forced a move to an online format.

ALMAC Online began with the Air Freight Forum, co-organised with Airport Authority Hong Kong under the theme Overcoming Challenges to Prevail under the Pandemic.

Several key topics were explored, including global air cargo demand, operational agility, COVID-19 vaccine, air logistics, cross-border e-commerce and industry collaboration.

The session was chaired by Yvonne Ho, general manager, Hong Kong and Macau, International Air Transport Association, with the speakers including Marco Bloemen, managing Director, Seabury Consulting; Frosti Lau, chairman, HKIA Air Cargo Carrier Liaison Group; Tony Khan, president and representative director, DHL Express Japan; Frédéric Léger, director APCS Products, International Air Transport Association; William Xiong, chief strategist and general manager for Export & Global Logistics, Cainiao Network; and Alaina Shum, general manager, Aviation Logistics, Airport Authority Hong Kong.

Meanwhile a maritime session was also held which focused on Hong Kong’s role in the trading world.

The pandemic was said to have disrupted the operation of the maritime industry but also inspired “waves of innovation and digitalization” to mitigate the impact.

The keynote address was delivered by Kitack Lim, secretary-general, International Maritime Organization, who talked future business perspectives.

This was followed by a session titled The Way Forward for Hong Kong as an International Maritime Centre and its role in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Learn more about themes from the ALMAC conference. Credit: YouTube and ALMAC

Discussions focused on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, how the industry should adapt and sustaining Hong Kong’s position as an international maritime centre in uncertain times.

The session also explored how Hong Kong can leverage its strengths in ship management, ship financing and maritime legal services for maintaining a key strategic role in the Greater Bay Area.