The growth of Asia’s logistics sector led United Kingdom-based Peters & May, a global marine logistics provider, to open a regional office in Hong Kong last October. Angus Bruce Jones, Managing Director, said the move was a strategic decision based on the growth of boat builders, dealers and individual boat owners moving craft with Peters & May to Asia over the last three years.
'The Hong Kong office is situated in a key location to support our imports and exports to and from Asia,' said Jones. 'We also benefit from several existing agents in the local and surrounding area with representation in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, and continue to research further opportunities.'
Peters & May Hong Kong is headed by Thibaut de Montvalon, who was formerly Managing Director of Peters & May France.
Working with local partners to bring boats into Hong Kong over the past decade alerted the company to the potential of a market which, while still small by global standards, is dynamic and fast-growing. 'Hong Kong, and more so, China represents a young market – boating literally started to pick up only about two years ago in the mainland – while markets in the United States and Europe have been running for more than 50 years,' said Mr de Montvalon. 'So it’s still small, but the most dynamic. For Peters & May, opening a Hong Kong office is a strategy for the future, an investment in the market that’s growing fastest in the world.' Hong Kong, he notes, 'has the equipment and expertise to handle large, luxury yachts'.
Million-dollar boats by leading overseas brands arrive in Hong Kong by container ship - Peters & May Ltd
In a consumer market now keen to enjoy the fruits of its labour, yachts are one more visible sign of status and success on the mainland. 'Chinese people prefer overseas brands,' Mr de Montvalon said. 'They favour the Ferrari and the Louis Vuitton bag. They have the luxury villa, and now they want the luxury yacht.'
Peters & May delivers at least one motor boat or yacht each week to Hong Kong. Typically, these vessels are new, market-leading marine brands, about 15 to 20 metres long, and valued from US$1 million to US$3 million.
Mr de Montvalon said Hong Kong is the ideal port for importing expensive boats. 'Hong Kong is by far the most adequate place to handle these kinds of deliveries,' he said. 'It’s the break bulk capital of Asia, as far as we are concerned. Staff at the various terminals are trained in handling yachts up to 40 metres. They are very capable, and they have the equipment.' Hong Kong also offers proximity to the Chinese mainland, a very promising market for the marine industry, he said.
The absence of duties and 'very light formalities' are further advantages for yacht importers. Mr de Montvalon said that technically, logistically and for cost-effectiveness, Hong Kong 'is one of the best places in the world' for Peters & May’s growing network of logistics operations.
Angus Jones, MD, Peters & May - Peters & May Ltd
Thibaut de Montvalon, MD, Peters & May Hong Kong - Peters & May Ltd