Smart solution topped logistics competition

Apr 8, 2016

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Hong Kong (CILTHK) held a project competition on 19 March, 2016 for students to demonstrate their analytical skills and understanding of logistics industry. Among the nine participating teams from various tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and Macau, the team of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering (IMSE) of the HKU won the championship. In the competition, each team was given a topic that was related to real-life logistics and transportation problems to solve. The teams were given 90 minutes to work on the topic, including information search, data analysis and evaluation, the provision of solutions to the problems, and the delivery of a 10-minute presentation.

The HKU IMSE project team consisting of Chun-kit Lee (Team Leader), Ching-on Lo, Ho-yan Tan, and Hong-ting Lai was given the topic “Law enforcement by Mainland officials is inevitable. Do you support Yuen’s viewpoint? Advice Secretary for Transport and Housing possible options of immigration arrangements for the cross-border rail link (XRL).” The topic was a controversial topic. It was about whether law enforcement by the officials of the Mainland China should be allowed in the cross-border rail link (XRL) of the West Kowloon Terminus. The project caused a dilemma between logistics efficiency and the core value of Hong Kong which is autonomy of law execution. Under the Basic Law of the HKSAR, the law enforcement by the Mainland officials are prohibited but the co-location of customs seems to be the only solution for the XRL project.

The project team suggested a number of possible solutions to the problem, such as on-train-immigration, sending Hong Kong officials to Mainland stations for immigration, and mimic the US Visa system. Finally, the team decided that the US Visa system is the most feasible one. The US and Hong Kong has a very similar situation: when Hong Kong citizens travel to the US, they will need to obtain a US Visa prior to departure to let both Hong Kong and US immigration know in advance that this citizen will enter US within a certain period. This solution suggested that the same concept applies to the cross-border rail link (XRL). Chinese citizens apply a VISA when they buy the XRL ticket to Hong Kong, their information will pass to Hong Kong prior to their arrival. Upon their arrival in Hong Kong, the Chinese citizen exercises both Chinese and Hong Kong immigration in West-Kowloon station with their passport and VISA. For Hong Kong citizens, they simply use their HKID card and Home Visit Permit to pass through both immigrations through e-channels in West-Kowloon station. This chosen solution helps the prevention of the dilemma between the logistics efficiency and the Hong Kong’s autonomy, because it allows the efficient immigration processes and at the same time avoids the conflicting point of letting Mainland officials to execute law in Hong Kong.

Through the competition, the students demonstrated the problem-solving skills and critical thinking on the logistics and transportation issue, not only about processing efficiency improvements but also political aspect considerations.

The CILTHK Essay Competition championship trophy was presented to the HKU IMSE team (left to right): Chun-kit Lee, Ching-on Lo, Ho-yan Tan, and Hong-ting Lai