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Hong Kong Shipowners Association: Over 65 Years of Uniting Hong Kong’s Shipowners

The Hong Kong Ship Association (HKSOA) has spent the last 65 years bringing together key players and shipowners across China. Through its key work in the world of shipowners and related industries, HKSOA has established China as a key global hub that continues to serve both local and international markets across the maritime sector.  

HKSOA was incorporated in 1957 when 11 local shipowners came together with the combined purpose of creating a forum where the shipowners of Hong Kong could work together as one cohesive association for the betterment of the industry. The association has vastly grown over the years and is now one of the largest shipowner associations in the world. Consequently, HKSOA continues to unite the industry with a chief commitment towards promoting and protecting the interests of Hong Kong domiciled shipowners and ship managers.   

HKSOA provides a range of services to its members to ensure that they are supported and promoted on a range of local and international levels. To achieve this the Association arranges forums for its members to meet and discuss any issues or concerns that face the shipowner’s industry. In an effort to develop and continually improve the industry, HKSOA provides a range of educational seminars and circulars to inform members of important changes in the shipping environment. Therefore, coinciding with these activities, HKSOA continues to represent all of its members’ interests on a range of different platforms.  

Members under HKSOA are those who own, manage, or operate a fleet of ships with a combined carrying capacity of over 244 million dead-weight tonnes. Furthermore, the Association also includes a range of associate members which are Hong Kong resident companies which supply vital services to the Association’s members and China’s maritime industry as a whole. By bringing together companies, ship owners and key players in the maritime sector, HKSOA are bringing crucial attention to the role that the shipowners and their related companies have in both local and global industries. Consequently, by enhancing shipowner and ship manager representation, HKSOA provides a clear united voice for them, which adds further credibility to the industry and HKSOA’s role within the local communities for the depth of experience it provides to uphold the industry and China’s role in the global maritime sector.   

To continue to provide the most up-to-date and important information to its members, HKSOA are also a key member of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the Asian Shipowners Association (ASA). By working closely with many maritime organisations, including these giant associations, HKSOA highlights the vast role it continues to play across the industry. The ICS even selected Hong Kong to set up its first overseas office, whilst the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) added Hong Kong as one of four maritime arbitration centres in its standard clauses. The recognition from these giant associations and councils highlights the notable role that HKSOA play in developing Hong Kong’s shipping and maritime industries.  

HKSOA act as a super-connector between China and the rest of the world. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the shipping industry took a large hit on a global scale, however, HKSOA continued to develop the global trade industry by participating in the exchange of technology and information to improve the environmental and regulatory issues of the maritime sector. By sharing this information, HKSOA effectively helped to implement regulations and improvements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect ocean life and increase investment opportunities across the region.  

Therefore, in HKSOA’s mission to promote and protect its members’ interests, increase Hong Kong’s position as an international maritime centre, and consolidate its role as a key connection to China for the rest of the world, the Association is successful as a key regulatory force that is working in the global maritime industry. It has spent the last 65 years actively participating in the global regulatory arena by encouraging engagement between the local shipping community and the general public. Consequently, as a responsible trade association, it adds crucial value to its members’ operations as it supports Hong Kong as a leading maritime centre.