A container loaded with frozen food prepares to depart from Huangpu port in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, bound for Hong Kong on Monday. HONG XIXIONG/FOR CHINA DAILY
A batch of containers loaded with frozen food departed on Monday afternoon from Huangpu port in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, bound for Hong Kong, marking the opening of a new waterway express to the city.
The new route, operated by Chinese logistics company Sinotrans, will ensure the delivery of food from Guangzhou to Hong Kong in eight hours, and ease pressure on the city, which has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in recent days.
The company already operated a waterway route between Hong Kong and Foshan, Guangdong, which helped transport 24 metric tons of chilled chicken from Jiujiang port on Wednesday.
"Expansion of the waterway channel aims to help local food companies solve transportation problems and improve delivery efficiency amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong," said Lin Shaohong, deputy general manager of Sinotrans Huangpu Warehouse Yard.
The company has worked closely with Guangzhou customs to formulate a special customs clearance scheme, which helped ensure the quick delivery of food to Hong Kong, Lin said.
Following the COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong, major production bases in Guangdong that supply meat, vegetables and other agricultural products to the city have been working around the clock to ensure adequate supplies.
In another development, a waterway channel between Guangzhou's Lianhuashan port and Hong Kong opened on Friday, shipping three tons of vegetables to the city.
A Hong Kong government spokesman said on Monday that the supply of fresh food from the Chinese mainland has remained stable over the past few days.
According to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government sources, the throughput of vegetables from the mainland to Hong Kong through wholesale markets run by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Vegetable Marketing Organization decreased slightly from Saturday to Sunday as a result of disinfection procedures at individual supply points. The volume of vegetables stood at about 585 tons, or some 70 percent of the volume on a normal day.
Chilled poultry and meat imports on Sunday remained at around 60 percent of a normal day, while the supply of live pigs was operating as usual.