Hactl celebrates its 40th anniversary

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd (Hactl) has celebrated its 40th anniversary recently, marking a thriving business that has seen many industry firsts as it grew with Hong Kong’s air cargo market.


Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd (Hactl) has celebrated its 40th anniversary recently, marking a thriving business that has seen many industry firsts as it grew with Hong Kong’s air cargo market. Hactl was one of the first “independent” handlers in the world: Leading a new trend for airlines to move from self-handling, or being handled by other airlines, to using commercially-neutral specialist handling companies.

Hactl’s first cargo terminal was officially opened in May 1976, when Hong Kong’s airport was at its original Kai Tak location. As space in the central city location was severely restricted and cargo traffic was expected to grow dramatically, the Hong Kong Government was keen to foster the optimum use of precious available space, while setting the highest standards in cargo handling. It recognised that these goals would only be achieved through a major investment in a single, highly-efficient facility, which ultimately became Hactl.

Hactl’s performance exceeded all expectations from the very beginning. Within six months of opening, it was handling 40 airlines, 15 freighters, 148 total fl ight movements, 962 road vehicles and 753 tonnes of cargo daily. Th is already placed it in the top 10 cargo terminals globally at that time. Hactl expanded its Kai Tak facilities with the opening of a second terminal, in 1991; this was the world’s first multistorey cargo handling facility, designed to accommodate continuing cargo growth within a constrained footprint. By 1997, Hactl was handling 1.7 million tonnes of air cargo annually.