The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge

To the Horizon and Beyond

A clear span of 55 kilometers, 400,000 metric tons of steel, 17.3 billion US dollars in construction costs. The architectural marvel leaves no one unimpressed. Since the world’s longest sea bridge was inaugurated by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of October 2018 after a construction time of almost 10 years, Asian media have been rife with speculations and great expectations about its enormous influence on the economic development of the Greater Bay Area.

Majestic and confident, the bridge winds along the region of the Pearl River Delta by the South Chinese Sea. It connects the finance metropolis of Hong Kong with the gambling city of Macao and the industrial region of Zhuhai. Wind forces of up to 200 km/h and earthquakes with an intensity of up to eight have been taken into consideration. Even collisions with ships weighing up to 300,000 metric tons are said to be no match for the sea-crossing structure.

Victory for the Engineers

Since the Pearl River Delta is only 20 m deep in some areas, a large part of the bridge had to be built on stilts. The immediate vicinity to the approach and take-off routes of Hong Kong’s airport posed another challenge to the engineers in certain parts. In order to keep the flight paths clear, about 7 km of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge now run underground, which provides the further benefit of allowing large cargo ships to cross.

According to estimates, the six-lane connection route will be used by 60,000 cars or 250,000 people per day. With a maximum speed limit of 100 km/h, the bridge reduces transit time between Hong Kong and Macao to half an hour and represents significant competition to the fast ferry, which currently take over three hours to make the crossing.

However, an all-too-strong rush of individual traffic is not to be expected for the time being. Private individuals require a special permission to use the bridge, and this is tied to difficult requirements, such as a driving license which is valid in all three cities. Thus, the bridge is predominantly frequented by cargo vehicles for now. Commuters will be able to traverse the bridge by bus, which will facilitate checking of incoming travelers. After all, the Hong Kong-Zhuhau-Macao Bridge connects three administrative regions with different currencies and immigration as well as customs regulations. Even the direction of traffic differs between Hong Kong (left-hand traffic) and the rest (right-hand traffic).

Mega-Boost for the Economy

Regardless, the new lifeline's economic power is already enormous. The region around the Pearl River Delta is home to a number of sizable cities with over a million inhabitants. Countless globally active companies from the computer, electronics and automotive industry have their headquarters here, along with numerous service providers. Highly productive and with concentrated power of innovation, the Greater Bay Area has made a name for itself as China’s Silicon Valley. With Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, it is also home to three of the world’s largest ports.

The fact remains that the new sea bridge is only one component in the development of the planned expansion of the South Chinese economic region. Expansions of the airports and the high-speed railway network will push the transport infrastructure forward. Further rail routes and bridges will follow. Especially the western part of the Greater Bay Area, which is currently less densely populated, is set to provide new logistics and warehouse spaces in the near future. At the end of this vision lies an economic region which bundles the potential of eleven megacities and, with 70 million inhabitants, can call itself the world’s largest city cluster. With this, it would push the currently leading metropolitan region and arch rival Tokyo from the throne.

A unique construction pushing the boundaries of the possible:

cargo-partner in the Greater Bay Area

cargo-partner is represented with four offices at strategic locations throughout the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Our colleagues in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen and Hong Kong provide a range of air and seafreight, contract logistics, rail and road transport solutions for the growing needs of the industries in the region, including buyers' and shippers' consolidation, cross-border trucking and domestic distribution.

We offer a specialized service package for online vendors, making use of overseas storage to lower operation costs and enable fast action and delivery. The goods are prepared in advance, shipped overseas and, after going through customs clearance, stored in a suitable warehouse facility. As soon as an order is placed in our client's online shop, we take care of picking and re-packing in the warehouse and handle last mile delivery to the end consumer.

Get in touch with our colleagues in the region to find out more!

A clear span of 55 kilometers and 400,000 metric tons of steel...